The passing away of a loved one is always a challenging and emotional period in our lives.
The uncertainty of not knowing what information a beneficiary of a Will is entitled to can make the situation worse.
The purpose of this article is to provide an easy-to-understand guide on what rights and information beneficiaries of a Will are entitled to in NSW.
What Is a Beneficiary Of a Will?
A beneficiary of a will is an entity (such as a charity) or a person that has been named in a Will. A beneficiary is entitled to receive a part or all of the estate of a deceased person.
Being named as a beneficiary of a Will means that you have been included in the Will of someone who has passed away, and you have been left a gift or benefit from their estate.
The most common assets you may be left as a beneficiary of a Will include property, money and assets such as a vehicle, jewellery or shares.
What Are The Rights Of a Beneficiary Of a Will In NSW?
To answer the question of what information is a beneficiary of a Will entitled to, it would be helpful to understand the rights of a beneficiary of a Will in NSW.
Beneficiaries of a Will in NSW have the following rights:
- To receive a copy of the Will at their request, even before a Grant of Probate has been issued;
- To receive their entitlement with accordance to the Will of the deceased within 12 months of their passing;
- To be informed of any legal proceedings against the estate or challenges to the Will;
- To be advised of what they are entitled to and when you will receive it;
- To be notified of any Grant of Probate;
- To be informed of any outstanding debts, liabilities and taxes against the estate;
- To receive a statement of distribution that outlines your entitlement and how it was determined;
- To be informed if a deceased person had a Will in place which names or mentions them;
- To be informed as an executor administers the estate: This includes being kept in the loop of any delays in the estate’s distribution; and
- To remove an executor of the estate if they have passed away, lost capacity, there is a conflict of interest of they are considered unfit to continue their role.
What Information Should The Beneficiaries Of a Will Receive?
Moving on to what information a beneficiary of a Will is entitled to. The answer to this question really depends on what the beneficiary of a Will receives. Accordingly, the level of information that executors are required to provide to a particular beneficiary will differ.
A beneficiary that is only entitled to a specific gift or money from a Will is typically not entitled to receive full details about the estate.
A beneficiary that receives a share of the balance of the estate is entitled to a full accounting of the estate. This includes full details of all of the expenditures and funds received by the estate.
If the executor of the estate fails to provide adequate information in line with the beneficiary’s entitlements, the beneficiary may bring Court proceedings against them. However, it should be noted that any proceedings will result in further expenses for the estate and cause delays.
How To Find a Will Of a Deceased Person In NSW?
The easiest way to find a Will of a deceased person in NSW is to search online for the details of the deceased on the NSW Supreme Court Online Registry website.
Alternatively, you may contact the NSW Supreme Court Probate Registry via telephone on 1300 679 272 and request for a copy of the Will to be sent to you.
Another method is to contact the estate’s executor and request a copy of the Will directly from them. As a beneficiary, they must provide this to you. If you do not know who the executor is, you can try and contact someone you believe may have a copy of the Will in their possession and request the document from them.
Speak To A Wills & Estates Solicitor Today
When discussing matters such as ‘what information is a beneficiary of a Will entitled to?’ it is essential to remember that the answer to this question depends on what the beneficiary is receiving.
If you have any more questions about your rights as a beneficiary or would like any assistance in a matter involving a Will, please do not hesitate to contact our team of friendly and experienced Wills & Estates lawyers today. We are always happy to assist.
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.
Want To Read Some More?
Suppose you have any more questions regarding the topic of ‘what information is a beneficiary of a Will entitled to?’, or any other family law matters.
In that case, you should head over to our blog section for more informative articles on a wide range of family law topics.
Alternatively, here are some of our newest articles linked below:
For more informative family law content, please check out our YouTube page.
Alternatively, here are some educational videos linked below, which are on matters that you may find interesting and helpful