Being named as a beneficiary in a Will often comes with a variety of emotions. Despite what you may be feeling, you may be confused about your beneficiaries’ rights under a Will in NSW.
It is vital that you understand these rights. This is because being named as a beneficiary comes with specific responsibilities and rights, which can often be hard to understand, determine and execute in such an emotionally challenging period.
Accordingly, understanding beneficiaries’ rights under a Will ensures you do everything correctly to receive what you are entitled to.
What Are Beneficiaries Rights Under a Will In NSW?
Beneficiaries rights under a Will in NSW include multiple things. For instance, All beneficiaries have the right to be informed about the Will, whether or not the deceased left a valid Will.
Reading of The Will – The Executor must inform each beneficiary of the nature and extent of their entitlement from the Estate under the Will. This includes when the beneficiaries might expect to receive their entitlement.
However, it is not a legal requirement for the Executor to invite all the beneficiaries to read the entre Will.
To receive a copy of the Will – The beneficiary of a Will is only entitled to receive a copy of the Will if they make a formal request to the Executor.
The executor must then acknowledge the request and send the beneficiary a copy of the Will. The beneficiary may be liable for any expenses related to producing and shipping out the copy.
Delay in distribution – The executor must inform the beneficiary if there will be any delay in the distribution of the assets from the Estate and provid3e reasoning for the delay.
Being notified about liabilities – If there is a liability that attaches to a beneficiary’s entitlement, including taxes and other costs by virtue of being a beneficiary, the Executor must notify the beneficiary of such costs.
More Beneficiaries Rights Under a Will
To commence legal proceedings against the deceased – if there are any legal proceedings or claims against the deceased, at the date of death, which are set to continue despite the deceased’s passing, the Executor is required to inform the beneficiaries of these proceedings.
To commence legal proceedings against the Estate – If there are any claims or legal proceedings against the estate that may impact any of the beneficiary’s entitlements, the Executor is required to inform the beneficiaries of these claims.
To receive a Statement of Distribution – Each beneficiary must obtain this Statement from the Executor. What a State of Distribution does is it outlines how the distribution was calculated.
To receive the entitlement of a beneficiary – It is the right of all beneficiaries of a deceased estate located in NSW to receive their entitled under the Will within 12 months of the passing of the deceased. However, the Will can allow the executor delay the distribution of assets. If such delays occur, the executor must inform all beneficiaries of such delays, the reason for them and an expected date they will receive their entitlement.
Legal costs – Beneficiaries in a will are not entitled to have their legal expenses related to the estate paid by the estate, unless this is court ordered
Can Beneficiaries Make a Claim For a Larger Share Of The Estate?
Even if you are already named as a beneficiary in a will, you can claim a larger share of the deceased Estate if you believe what you have been left is unfair.
Accordingly, The Court may decide that the distribution of assets should be different from what is specified in the terms of the Will. The typical situation where this occurs is when there is a finding that the deceased did not adequately provide for the advancement and/or maintenance of someone they had responsibility for.
Before commencing any legal action, you should discuss your matter with an experienced Wills and Estates lawyer to determine your prospects of success if you choose to contest the Will.
Importance of Seeking Legal Advice
When discussing beneficiaries’ rights under a Will, it is essential to remember that beneficiaries have many rights under a Will that may or may not impact you depending on your particular circumstances.
If you are unsure of what your rights are in any given situation as a beneficiary of a Will or Executor of the Estate, please feel free to contact our team today.
Here at JB Solicitors, we’ll make the process as pain-free as possible. We have fixed-fee pricing for family law, giving you a clear sense of the costs from the start, and we will be sure to help you out every step of the way.
With years of experience under our belt, we pride ourselves on making each client’s family law experience as positive as possible.
Contact JB Solicitors today to speak with one of our friendly and experienced family lawyers.
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