‘How do I get info about my inheritance if I’m not executor of the will?’

Dec 03, 2019
Being a beneficiary but not an executor of a will can leave people in the dark regarding their inheritance. Source: Getty.

Q: My mother died six months ago and while my brother and sister are the executors, I’m a beneficiary of the will, with her assets divided equally between me and my siblings. I have tried contacting the lawyer handling the estate to get any information but they refuse to even speak to me because I am not the executor.

The reason for not being an executor is that I’m in South Australia and they are in New South Wales, not for me to be excluded. My understanding is that probate has been done, so how do I move forward? Nobody has asked me for any information in order for me to receive the inheritance that I know I should.

A: It is not uncommon for the administration period of an estate to take at least several months, if not more than one or two years, and so given that your mother died about six months ago you should not be unduly concerned at this stage.

Only the executor is an actual client of the solicitor appointed to administer the estate and while some solicitors are happy to speak with beneficiaries to keep them informed, others are not.

I suggest you write to the solicitor confirming your full name, address, contact details and bank details just to put yourself on record. You should ask the solicitor to acknowledge receipt of your letter and details and you could ask for an update as to progress. Hopefully you will receive a favourable response.

If you are still concerned, you may yourself instruct a solicitor to represent and protect your interest in the estate and he or she would contact the estate solicitor on your behalf. Note, however, that this would be at your own expense.

If you have a question for Starts at 60’s money experts, email it to [email protected].

Important information: The information provided on this website is of a general nature and for information purposes only. It does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It is not financial product advice and must not be relied upon as such. Before making any financial decision you should determine whether the information is appropriate in terms of your particular circumstances and seek advice from an independent licensed financial services professional.

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