Are you being treated like a mushroom?
A beneficiary is someone who is due to inherit money or property from a deceased’s estate.
As a solicitor dealing with will disputes I know that beneficiaries can sometimes feel like a mushroom; left alone in the dark by the executor of a will. It can be a deeply frustrating experience. The emotional fallout from a bereavement sometimes leads to a toxic atmosphere within a family and relationships can quickly sour, particularly between sibling groups. When the mother has appointed one of her children – perhaps for perfectly good reasons – as an executor, they can unwittingly set the scene for unpleasant behaviour.
Very often this situation can arise where executors and beneficiaries are not entirely sure of their rights and responsibilities. Getting advice early on about those rights can help to prevent extremely expensive court proceedings.
If you are an executor or a beneficiary I have prepared a free guide setting out your rights and responsibilities.
It’s really important that you get cost effective practical advice early on; very often in disputes over estates the estate itself will bear most if not all of the legal costs. But that isn’t always the case and you might be personally liable for legal costs if you do not behave reasonably – and that means doing your best to avoid court if at all possible.
Sarah Young is a Contentious Probate solicitor based in our Huddersfield office. Sarah has a national reputation and her clients come from all over the country. If you require legal help or advice, get in touch with Sarah on 01484 538 421.