Real Time Web Analytics

Friday, November 12, 2010

What does an executor do if a beneficiary doesn't want his inheritance?

A while ago, I blogged about whether or not a beneficiary could turn down an inheritance (which he can). Click here to read that post. That's fine from the beneficiary's point of view, but what if you're the executor? What are the logistics of probating and administering an estate when a beneficiary just doesn't want what was left to him under the Will?

In most of the cases I've seen, a beneficiary who turns down an inheritance is doing so "in favour of" another person. For example, a woman with a husband and children died without a Will. Instead of dividing up the estate among the husband and children as the law dictated, all of the kids agreed that they would rather their father have the mother's estate. Each of those children turned down the inheritance, but only did so on the understanding that their father would get their share. They didn't want one of the siblings or a charity or the government or anyone else to have their share.

In this case, the application for the court (in this case an Application for a Grant of Administration) was prepared just as the law said that it should. The schedule of beneficiaries asked who was entitled to receive the shares of the estate and we described the husband and the children as those entitled to them. In other words, on the face of the documents, there was no indication that the children might turn it down.

We had each of the children sign an Assignment of their share. This means that each of them asked the administrator of the estate to pay their share to their father rather than to them. The Assignments were signed and witnessed. Each child was required to see a lawyer of his or her own to make sure that they knew what they were signing. When the estate was ready to be paid out, the Assignments were followed and the entire estate went to the father.

Occasionally there will be an estate where a beneficiary doesn't want to receive his or her share but won't co-operate by signing anything. That of course is someone who is trying to make a point! If the executor or administrator doesn't know where that person lives or cannot get payment to them, he might end up going to court to ask a judge for permission to pay the inheritance somewhere else. That could be to the Public Trustee or to another beneficiary.

The executor or administrator shouldn't pay someone's inheritance to another person or organization without either a written Assignment or an order of the court.

No comments:

Post a Comment

You might also like

Related Posts with Thumbnails