Beneficiaries' rights and remedies
Beneficiaries' rights and remedies

The following Wills & Probate guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Beneficiaries' rights and remedies
  • The basic position
  • Executor's year
  • Rights of beneficiaries during the administration
  • Remedies available to beneficiaries
  • Administration actions
  • Applications for directions
  • Appointment of judicial trustee
  • The Public Trustee
  • Substitution/removal of a PR
  • more

The basic position

The beneficiaries will want to know that the estate is being effectively administered by the personal representatives (PRs) and will be concerned to receive their entitlements under the Will or intestacy as quickly as possible.

Executor's year

Section 44 of the Administration of Estates Act 1925 gives executors and administrators at least a year from the date of death before beneficiaries can call on them to distribute any part of the estate.

Rights of beneficiaries during the administration

While the estate is being administered, the ownership in the deceased's unadministered assets lies in the PRs for the purposes of administration, without any distinction between legal and equitable interests.

No beneficiary in the meantime, whether under the deceased's Will or intestacy has any proprietary interest in any particular asset comprised in the unadministered estate.

The beneficiary's entitlement during the administration is to a chose in action, ie the right to require the deceased's estate to be duly administered.

The chose in action is transmissible, inter vivos or on death.

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