How do I make sure I get my inheritance?
In cases where the deceased has left a Will it is the responsibility of the named Executor(s) to ensure that all monies are paid out in accordance with the Will. If The Probate Bureau or solicitor is administering the estate then they will contact the beneficiaries themselves to arrange payment at the appropriate time. However, if the Executors are dealing with the administration of the estate themselves, then they should contact all named beneficiaries to arrange payment.
If, for any reason, you are concerned that you will not receive your inheritance, then you can obtain a copy of the Grant of Probate, which will include the Will, from the Probate Registry. This will detail the deceased’s person’s wishes and name the Executor dealing with the estate.
Likewise, if the deceased did not leave a Will, the estate is being distributed in accordance with the Rules of Intestacy, and you are concerned that your inheritance may not be forthcoming, you can obtain a copy of Letter of Administration which contains details of the person administering the estate.
However, if the estate is relatively small and a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration are not required, you will not be able to obtain confirmation of who the Executor or Next of Kin is from the Probate Registry. This will mean you will have to do your own investigation to ensure you receive your inheritance. From experience, we usually find that the deceased’s next of kin is also the Executor if there is a Will, so this should be your first port of call.
If you are concerned that the Executor or next of kin may be withholding your inheritance from you, or are not being entirely honest about the assets in the estate, you should first contact them in writing for clarification. If they fail to respond, a caveat can be placed on the Grant of Representation which will prevent them from being able to receive the said document and in turn also prevent them from being able to release funds. They will be aware that you have placed the caveat and should contact you directly. You can remove the caveat once your concerns have been answered.
On occasion, the situation may be far too contentious for anything other than legal assistance. However, before going down this route, you must first consider the potential costs in taking legal action and weigh it up against the amount you will be inheriting.
The Probate Bureau can assist with contentious cases and also offer a mediation service, please call 0800 028 2837 for further advice and information.