Therefore, appointing an independent executor, who is not a beneficiary of your Will, can be useful. Answer: From the way you phrased your question, it sounds as if your sibling is serving as executor … Beneficiaries Rights. Please contact us today to learn more. Or, the beneficiaries can compel the executor to provide all of the documents associated with the estate as well as the executor’s personal documents. Beneficiaries have the right to know they’ve been included in a will early on in the probate process. If the executor of the estate asks the IRA primary beneficiary to hand over the IRA back to the estate, that is not a proper action to take. Without the court’s permission, the executor cannot: Take money from the estate; Update the will to benefit either the executor or a particular beneficiary; Withhold assets from beneficiaries; Stop a will challenge; While the executor can draw compensation from the estate for the duties performed, the state limits the allowable amount. One good reason … According to New York law, creditors have seven months to claim what is owed by the estate. Dear Liz: What rights does a sibling survivor have to get a copy of a mother’s will, if the sibling is not the executor? For example, the executor can’t remove some people from the will or add others because this isn’t his or her decision to make. I am the beneficiary of a life insurance policy. This scenario is common among adult siblings when one wants to remain in the family home and the others prefer to cash out their portion of the home’s value instead. Once appointed by the state, the executor has a fiduciary duty to secure the deceased person’s assets. It may be that the executor is not withholding money from beneficiaries, he is simply waiting out the required period. Similarly, if an estate is insolvent, meaning the liabilities are more than the assets, the beneficiaries will not receive a distribution. Although an executor has some leeway when the testator didn’t make all issues clear enough, this person must also abide by several legal restrictions. This situation is quite common. The rules are different if your mother created a living trust rather than a will. The executor can only use estate funds to pay the legitimate expenses of the estate, taxes and legal fees. The executor can withhold money to pay the debts of the decedent. If the majority of the Estate assets have been received and there's enough money in the Estate account, an interim payment could be made to the Beneficiaries with Executors holding back enough funds to cover any potential costs. Failing this affected beneficiaries can apply to the court to have the executor removed so the estate can be distributed. It depends on the terms your grandmother left in the will. Whilst an executor is responsible for administering an estate either solely or with a co-executor which may include selling the deceased’s property, making payments from the estate he should never forget that he is acting on behalf of the beneficiaries mentioned in the Will … If no executor is named, the court appoints an executor based on state law. It may be an issue when a Will is contested or challenged by the beneficiaries. If a beneficiary believes that the executor is not acting in the best interest of the estate, the beneficiary can ask the court to have that person removed as executor. Being named a beneficiary of a trust can be a welcome event, but it can also come with questions and concerns. My step mother put the policy into an irrevocable trust. Litigation can add years to an estate proceeding and may give an impression that the executor is withholding money from beneficiaries. Just be sure you know what the terms fo the trust are before pressing the issue even if the trust is just set up by the will (testamentary trust). You are entitled to a full accounting of the estate’s assets and to the timely distribution of the estate’s money and other assets.