Disputing beneficiaries

Written by Terry Johansson | 13th September 2013

Disputes may even develop between the beneficiaries themselves. The emotions and stress associated with losing a loved one or a contested Probate, may create tension between the beneficiaries or expose family struggles.

The beneficiaries may disagree on the division of the assets in the estate. For example, several beneficiaries may all want a particular Estate asset in circumstances were the Will simply states that the Estate  is to be shared equally between the beneficiaries, without making any specific bequests.

These disputes may create significant difficulties for the executor in administering the Estate. The executor may feel ‘in the middle’ or pressured into taking a particular course of action. The executor should be ensure that he / she always acts reasonably and be cautious of  accepting too readily the demands of unreasonable beneficiaries at the expense of the others.

Mediation may be a cost effective way to resolve these types of disputes.  However, where informal agreements cannot be reached, the dispute may need to be resolved by a court.

CWPL recognises that disputes about family wealth and estates can be emotional and unpleasant for all involved. CWPL can help in resolving disputes and minimising conflict from the outset. Click here for more information.

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