Things you need to take into account before you receive the money left to you in a Will

This old ‘rule of thumb’ most definitely applies to estate administration. If you are a beneficiary under a Will there can be complicating factors which mean the solicitor administering the estate cannot guarantee that you will receive the money left to you under the Will when you need it.

Time limits

In Queensland the Succession Act 1981 (Qld) provides that, a beneficiary will not receive their interest left to them under the Will unless they survive the person who made the Will (Testator) for a period of 30 days. If a beneficiary fails to survive a testator for 30 days then the Will takes effect that the person died immediately before the testator and the gift will fail.

If the beneficiary survives the Testator for a period of 30 days and then dies their interest under the Will is payable to the beneficiary’s estate.

The time it will take to administer an estate will depend upon what assets are in the estate. For example if there are funds in a bank account over the value of $50,000 or shareholdings it is highly likely that a Grant of Probate will need to be obtained from the Supreme Court.

If the deceased died intestate it will be necessary to apply for a Grant of Letters of Administration from the Supreme Court to appoint someone to administer the estate.

Both types of Grants can be time consuming in that you need to advertise your notice of intention to apply for a Grant and then fourteen days after the last advertisement can apply for the Grant.

It is the writer’s recommendation that no distribution be made from an estate before six (6) months from the deceased’s date of death has passed. This is to protect the Executor of the estate from any liability of distributing the estate too early.

Contesting, Disputing or Challenging a Will?

In Queensland if a person wishes to contest a Will and make a claim for further provision for the deceased’s estate they must give notice of their intention to the Executor within six (6) months from the date of the deceased’s death. This 6 month period is not fatal to a person’s claim against the estate as long as they file and serve their application within 9 months of the deceased’s death. In any event, after the 6 month period has expired the Executor is entitled to distribute the estate and will have protection of the Succession Act if any claim is then brought against the estate.

If a claim is brought against the estate no distributions can be made from the estate until the claim is resolved.

If you are a beneficiary under a Will in the writer’s opinion it is best not to count on receiving the money left to you under the Will until at least six months after the deceased’s date of death have passed.

Get in touch with us

If you need any assistance with estate administration or distributing the estate as an executor please contact our Wills and Estates lawyers on 1800 683 928 or via our online form.