Still waiting on that inheritance?

Beneficiaries have important rights of disclosure

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From the February/March 2016 issue of the magazine.

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Q: My sister is the executor of my mother’s will and I’m expecting an inheritance. But it’s been more than two years and I haven’t received anything. My sister isn’t telling me anything. What are my rights to disclosure? Do I just wait, wondering what the hell is going on?

— Livid in London, Ont.

A: Absolutely not, says Barry Corbin, a Toronto-based estates lawyer. “Beneficiaries have important rights of disclosure—known as accounting.” Among other things, this includes what assets the executor started with, what assets were sold, details of all amounts received and paid out, and what is available for distribution to the beneficiaries. If your sister has a lawyer assisting her with her executor duties, you should be able to contact that lawyer for answers, says Corbin. But if you’re being stymied in all efforts to obtain information, “there are formal procedures to force an accounting that a good estate litigation lawyer can initiate,” he advises.

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