Beneficiaries should obtain independent legal advice. The estate solicitor acts for the executor and not for the beneficiaries. They cannot provide beneficiaries with advice due to a conflict of interests.
Beneficiaries are entitled to a copy of the will. Sometimes, beneficiaries require the assistance of a solicitor to enforce that legal right.
Beneficiaries are also entitled to be kept informed about the administration of the estate. This is typically where problems arise and beneficiaries see the need to engage a solicitor. All too often the executor neglects or refuses to talk to the beneficiaries about what is in the estate, what is being done and when distributions can be made. Beneficiaries may also require advice concerning debts owed to or from the estate.
In our practice we have many beneficiaries who engage us to find out what is going on and to protect their rights. If an executor refuses to fulfil his or her obligations then it may be necessary to have them removed from office. After all, executors are accountable to beneficiaries who have a right to ensure the proper administration of the estate.