QuoteReplyTopic: Rights of beneficiary to view accounts Posted: 22/May/2009 at 18:46
I am a beneficiary in a will. The executor (a relative) did not tell me for 5 months I was in the will. I only found out when a letter arrived at my door asking me to sign a discharge and indemnity form. The solicitors letter assumed I had known I was a beneficiary and had a copy of the will.
There's a long list of other things that don't appear right but the main question I have is that the executor and her solicitor are asking all beneficiaries to sign a discharge form to get an interimn payment (about 90% of the total payment). And then they will wrap the rest of the estate up and then pay out the small second payment and also issue a statment of account at that time.
I am telling the executor and solicitor that I want to see a preliminary set of accounts now before I sign.
Do I have a right to ask this?
Do they have a right to refuse?
What will happen to the estate (and other beneficiary's payments) if I refuse to sign until I see the figures?
At the moment they are saying unless all beneficiaries sign this discharge and indemnity form, no money will be released.
None of the other beneficiaries mind if I do this and therefore hold up distribution. They would like the same info but just gave up waiting.
Thanks everyone for your comments. I just found out this morning that the solicitor in question has been penalised twice before for misappropriating trust funds. Between the executor and solicitor I feel this whole thing is doomed. Oh well.
Thanks again! I have learnt a lot from this website just in browsing through questions.
It is terrible to see how vunerable benificiaries are to the preditory practices of dishonest executors and unaccountable lawyers. I suggest you alert Senator Steve Fielding to the issues. I have spent the past five years and written a book called Lawyers or Grave Robbers? in an attempt to bring about change and accountability in this area of the law. It is obvious that you have a right to see all of the accounts and that should be stated in law.
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