Required: honest open communication Moreover, the trustee or executor is required to act in accordance with the probate code and must communicate honestly and openly with the beneficiaries, gather all property of the estate, and prepare an accounting of all property that passes through the estate. However, the executor isn’t required to consult with the beneficiaries or keep them updated every single step of the way. It is better for the executor not to upset the beneficiaries. New York City Estate Lawyer Albert Goodwin, Esq. Let beneficiaries know when distribution checks will arrive. The attorney must have caused a loss by not behaving as required by the Power of Attorney Act 2014. As in if they are requesting documents/info that isn’t really part of the estate probate or not required by the register of wills (and without any good reason, just because they want it) ? When you take on your executor’s responsibilities, starting with filing the will and securing estate property, let everyone know. T he executor accounting to beneficiaries is a critical part of the executor’s duties—and it must be done properly. The executor does not realize the importance of communication: Sometimes the executor does not know that the beneficiaries expect him to be communicating. But if the executor continues a pattern of non-communication then the beneficiaries will lose their patience and will bring a proceeding to compel the executor to file a judicial accounting. The amount of information you release to the beneficiaries during a formal probate is up to you. An executor may instruct their lawyers to notify the beneficiaries of their entitlement and where necessary, communicate with beneficiaries as to the progress of the administration of the estate. I will contact you when the information is ready”. They cannot favor one beneficiary or heir over the others, and they need to communicate with all of the interested parties. We choose Tuesday as our update day, because we can gather information from all the people involved in the transaction. Conversely, if the executor wants to avoid complete mayhem in the estate, the executor should avoid sharing the following details: In the end, applying common sense as to how much detail a beneficiary needs is important for the executor. To have a smooth administration the executor should communicate regularly with the beneficiaries as revealed in the article Communicating with the Beneficiaries is Essential for the Executor. Where the executor is not communicating with the beneficiaries, an estate lawyer starts by reviewing the last will and testament of the decedent. Unfortunately, it can be made even more trying if the relationship between the executor and the estate beneficiaries is antagonistic. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. I am New York estate lawyer Albert Goodwin, and I can be reached at (212) 233-1233. New York, NY 10006 Are you the executor of an estate who is struggling due to a poor relationship with the estate beneficiaries? So, in  regular communications with beneficiaries, the executor should limit information to the following: Basically, the executor should share only the details that affect every beneficiary the same in regular communications. It takes place after all expenses and debts have been paid, including income taxes, and before the remainder of the estate is distributed. The executor is not required to share every detail of the estate with the beneficiaries until the final accounting. administration, the Executor will communicate with the beneficiaries in order to keep them informed of all progress. And they feel that the executor could be doing something that will result in the beneficiaries not getting their fair share of the estate from the executor. In my experience, the only time I gave information to a beneficiary while administering the estate is when I needed their help on part of the estate. Although beneficiaries have the right to information on the estate, they don’t have the right to know what the other beneficiaries are to receive from the estate. Ways to resolve a dispute between executors and beneficiaries. [1] Leon C. Lazer, et al., New York Pattern Jury Instructions – Civil § 3.59 (2d ed. Many disputes between executors and beneficiaries can be resolved through Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). 3. Maybe - Depends on the person asking and the life they led. To close the estate, the beneficiaries will have to approve the final accounting and that’s when you have to give them the information. No - I don't possess the necessary skills. It’s good for the beneficiary to give the executor a call and ask what’s going on with the estate. The executor should avoid telling beneficiaries the exact property they will receive if listed in the will. It's not enough that the beneficiaries simply don't like the executor. It is best for the executor to communicate with the beneficiaries. Is an Executor Required to Communicate with Beneficiaries An executor is technically not initially required to communicate with the beneficiaries. The executor only has six months from the date of the death of the will maker to apply to the Victorian Civil Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) for the compensation. Accordingly, this is the kind of information that the executor should provide to the beneficiaries: They think that the executor is hiding something from them. When communicating with beneficiaries, executors should use common sense. Communication is your best tool to combat this potential fear. 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