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Sole Beneficiary - How Do Three Executors Work Together?

Discussion in 'Wills and Estate Planning Law Forum' started by ollie, 19 June 2014.

  1. ollie

    ollie Member

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    Hi there. When a will comes into effect to for a sole beneficiary, but there are three executors from the "in law" family, how does it work? Does the cash directly pass to beneficiary who is over 21 to do as they wish? Or must the beneficiary of a will have permission to access cash? It is a considerable amount of cash in excess of $140,000.
     
  2. James D. Ford - Solicitor

    James D. Ford - Solicitor Well-Known Member

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    Hi Ollie

    The process that needs to be followed will depend on the following:

    1. terms of the Will (it may specify that any assets are to be held on trust until you reach the age of 25);

    2. where the cash is held (the bank or Super Fund trustee holding the cash may have a policy that they refuse to release cash over a certain amount without Probate, certainly they will have a standard policy to request the signed agreement of all 3 Executors before releasing the funds);

    3. what other assets (if any) form part of the Estate –– if there is Real Estate (Probate is mandatory). If Probate is not required to distribute the estate, it is up to the 3 Executors to decide whether to apply for Probate or not – they may still decide to apply for Probate as this protects them from anyone making a claim against them, if another later Will is discovered (for example);

    4. whether any other members of the family decide to make a "family provision claim" (dispute the Will) which can hold everything up even longer if it goes to Court.

    If Probate is applied for, there will be delays whilst the process is followed. It involves advertising for the existence of any other copies of a Will, as well an application to the Supreme Court. Once Probate is granted, the estate can be distributed.

    The cash will not go directly to you. It must pass through the Estate first.

    If the 3 Executors hold up the process and do not take action in a reasonable timeframe, you can apply to the Supreme Court to force this to happen.

    If you do not have a copy of the Will (as the sole beneficiary you are definitely entitled under the relevant state legislation to inspect the Will and make a copy at your own expense) I recommend you make a request in writing for a copy as soon as practical.

    As you can see it is a complex process, please let me know if I can assist you further.

    Kind regards, James.
     
    John R likes this.
  3. ollie

    ollie Member

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  4. ollie

    ollie Member

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    Hi James, thank you for your reply. The sole beneficiary is my son who is just over 21, his father (though we are not divorced) is leaving his entire estate and if house does sell will involve property and vehicles. I am worried that all 3 executors are from the fathers family and although his instructions are that his son inherits everything, I am worried that they may make it difficult for J***** to access money and other assets. They will not allow myself or member from my family to be executor. Is there any way they can "swindle" part if the estate?
     
  5. winston wolf

    winston wolf Well-Known Member

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    Is you husband still alive?
     
  6. ollie

    ollie Member

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    Yes, at this stage he is. We have been separated for 18 yrs but never divorced
     
  7. winston wolf

    winston wolf Well-Known Member

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    Unless you think you can convince him to change his will its academic.
    Yes they could swindle money or make you sons life a misery.
    Executors have complete control of the estate and can only be removed by the supreme court at great expense.

    I'm surprised he has told you so much about his will?
    I also think three is too many executors but its his choice.

    No judging, but I'm constantly surprised how many people stay married for decades after separation.
     
  8. James D. Ford - Solicitor

    James D. Ford - Solicitor Well-Known Member

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    Have you reached a property settlement with your husband ? If not, this is something you are still within time to do, as you have from the date of separation until 1 year after your divorce, to apply to the Court. Alternatively, you can reach a property settlement agreement outside of Court.

    I await your response, kind regards, James
     
    Tim W likes this.

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