I am a beneficiary of a Will
Being named a beneficiary of a Will means you have been included in the Will of someone who has passed away and have been left a gift or benefit from their estate.
What is a beneficiary?
A beneficiary is any person or entity (for example, an organisation like a charity) that receives a gift or benefit from a person’s estate as outlined in their Will.
Barbara recently passed away.
In her Will, she identified her assets to be her house and bank account-these form her estate.
In her Will, Barbara has left her daughter Mary her house, and left her bank account to her son Tom.
Mary and Tom are both beneficiaries of Barbara’s Will.
What can I do as a beneficiary of a Will?
|Yes, you can...
|No, you can’t…
Find out what you have been left in a Will
You are legally entitled to be notified if a valid Will was left and your exact entitlement as laid out in the Will. There is no such event as a ‘reading of the Will’, instead you will be notified by email, phone or letter. If you wish to have a full copy of the Will, the Executor is legally obliged to provide you with it upon your request.
Make funeral arrangements for the deceased
The only exception is if you are also the Executor or have permission from the Executor to do so.
Ensure proper administration of the estate
The Executor must provide reasons for any delays to the distribution of your entitlements.
Remove an executor
An Executor can only be removed if they:
Request to view the accounts of the estate
The Executor must keep accounts and should be able to provide you a copy if you request it.
Access, remove, dispose of or sell any assets
If you wish to access, remove, dispose of or sell any assets from the estate, you need formal permission from the Executor.
All of a person’s property including real and personal e.g. bank accounts, realty, shares in companies, cash etc.
People, charities and organisations who you decide will receive or benefit from your estate when you pass away.
- conflict of interest
When there is the potential for the personal interests of an individual to clash with their legal and ethical responsibilities to the person they represent.
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What is the difference between an executor and an administrator?
A person appointed by the court to manage or administer a deceased estate which has no executor.
What is an executor?
An Executor is the individual or organisation that you nominate in your Will to perform the administration tasks required to finalise and distribute your estate after you pass away.
You can appoint an organisation such as NSW Trustee and Guardian as an independent Executor of your Will.
You can also appoint a beneficiary to be the Executor of your Will too.
What is an administrator?
If you pass away without a Will (called ‘dying intestate’) a person, organisation or entity is appointed by the Supreme Court of NSW to administer your estate.
This person is often your closest relative or an organisation like NSW Trustee and Guardian.
To be appointed administrator of a person’s estate, you must apply to the Supreme Court of NSW for Letters of Administration.
What is the difference between an executor and administrator?
Either an executor or an administrator will administer your estate when you pass away.
The role is generally decided based on whether you have a valid Will or not.
If you have a Will, you choose your executor. Your executor will be formally appointed to the role by applying to the Supreme Court of NSW and being granted probate of the Will after you pass away.
If you don’t have a Will, when you pass away, the court will appoint an administrator for your estate.
If you have a Will but your executor has passed away or cannot take on the role, the court will appoint an administrator.