One of the Executor’s duties is to inform all next of kin and beneficiaries of:
- The deceased’s death;
- The appointment of themselves as an Executor/Administrator;
- Their inheritance – be it a specific item, cash sum or share of the estate.
There is no specific legal requirement for an Executor to disclose a Will or its terms, but if you are a beneficiary, you can ask for disclosure and to be supplied with a copy of the Will.
Once the Grant of Probate is issued, the Will becomes a public document and anyone can obtain a copy by applying to the Probate Registry and paying the appropriate fee.
If you are a beneficiary and the Executor refuses to disclose the Will or discuss your inheritance then you may need to instruct a solicitor to make a formal request in writing. Your solicitor will then advise the Executor of the consequences of not disclosing the Will. The next step would be for Court proceedings and you would include a claim for costs to be met by the Executor.
If the Executor continues to ignore your request then you may be forced to take legal proceedings known as “entering a caveat” which prevents the issue of a Grant until certain steps are taken, one of which would be the disclosure of the Will. Such a step is expensive and lengthy, and should not be taken lightly.
What is the next step?
At Macks, we can explain whether you are entitled to see a copy of the Will and what information you can request from the Executor or Administrator.
We strongly recommend a face-to-face meeting with one of our specialist Solicitors who would be able to explain things in greater detail and advise you on what to do next. The initial meeting will be free of charge and will explain the assistance we can provide to obtain the information you require.