Yes, beneficiaries of a will have rights and entitlements. Once the will is valid and the estate administration process begins, beneficiaries have the following rights:
- Right to be informed: beneficiaries have the right to be notified of their status as beneficiaries and to receive information about the progress of the estate administration. They should be informed of any significant developments, such as the initiation of probate, asset valuations, and distribution plans.
- Right to receive assets: beneficiaries have the right to receive their designated share of the estate as outlined in the will. This includes any specific gifts, bequests, or inheritances that have been allocated to them.
- Right to an accurate accounting: beneficiaries have the right to an accurate and transparent accounting of the estate’s assets, liabilities, income, and expenses. They can request an overview of the financial transactions related to the estate administration process.
- Right to challenge: if beneficiaries believe that the will is invalid, or if they have concerns about the actions of the executor, they have the right to challenge the will or seek legal remedies to protect their interests.
- Right to fair treatment: beneficiaries have the right to be treated fairly and without discrimination in the administration of the estate. The executor should not show favouritism or act in a manner that unjustly disadvantages any beneficiary.
It’s important for beneficiaries to stay informed, ask questions, and seek legal advice if they feel their rights are being violated or if they have concerns about the estate administration process.