A beneficiary of a will is anyone who has been named to inherit something (such as possessions, property, or money) in the will. There are often several beneficiaries named in the will, who may be named to inherit equal or different shares. It is important to know the rights of a beneficiary of a will, especially if you have been named as one. Here is all the information you need.

 The Rights Of A Beneficiary

When you are named as a beneficiary, you have several rights. These are:

  • Legal rights to your share of the estate – but only once the estate has been administered. You will have rights to receive updates on the progress of administration.
  • The right to be told if you are named in a will. You will also have the right to be told the amount of the inheritance and if any property or possessions have been left to you.

The will is administered by an executor. They are responsible for gathering the estate and distributing it to the beneficiaries.

Can I See The Will?

If you have been named as a beneficiary, you may want to see the will. You don’t have any specific rights to see the will before probate has been granted, at which point the will becomes a public document. However, if you wish to see the will before this point you can ask the executor. They can decide whether or not to show you the will before probate is granted.

What Are The Rights Of A Beneficiary If There Is A Delay?

Probate can be a long and complicated process, and because of this beneficiaries may have to wait quite some time before they receive their inheritance. This is normal, particularly if property needs to be sold in order for the estate to be distributed. 

However, if you believe that the executor is acting unreasonably in the application of their duties, there are possible avenues for the removal of an executor. 

Contesting A Will

It is possible to contest a will in certain circumstances. These circumstances include:

  • If the deceased wasn’t of sound mind when they created the will
  • The will wasn’t signed correctly in front of witnesses
  • The deceased was coerced into putting unfair or invalid terms in their will
  • Fraud

In cases where a beneficiary wishes to make a claim against the will, they have 12 years from the date of death to do so.

Legal Assistance For Beneficiaries

Wills can be complex, and being a beneficiary of a will can be worrying, particularly if you aren’t sure about the myriad of legal procedures involved. If you are at all worried about the administration of a will – or just want a legal mind to offer advice and reassure you that everything is proceeding as normal, we can help. Beeston Shenton’s Wills & Probate Team is here for you. Contact us today.