Tips on Dealing with Beneficiaries 

  • As executor it is your responsibility to let the beneficiaries know that they have been named in the will.

  • It is unwise to tell the beneficiaries how much they are getting until you are certain about it.

  • Depending on the nature of the beneficiaries it is wise to warn them that there is no guarantee when their inheritance will come through and therefore, they should not make any plans for the money until they’ve actually got the cheque in their hand.  

  • Beneficiaries should also be warned that they must not contact the solicitors acting for the executor because that will most likely only have the effect of increasing the legal costs of the estate as each beneficiary takes turns ringing up to find out when their money will be available.

  • As executor you will be always relying on someone else to get things done before you can actually do anything, you may be waiting on banks, stockbrokers, financial institutions, insurance companies, superannuation funds, the Land Titles Office, accountants, real estate agents or the Australian Taxation Office.

As executor you have a duty to administer the estate promptly, but in accordance with the law, and you need to tell the beneficiaries that you can’t perform miracles when you are waiting on so many other parties.