Can a beneficiary be forced to reveal the names of other prospective beneficiaries?

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Can a beneficiary be forced to reveal the names of other prospective beneficiaries?

My Uncle died leaving a Will. In the Will, he worded that, he leaves everything to, “My brother Michael, and his offspring” (he did not know whether or not my dad had children). I do not want to inherit any of that junk. And I told my dad not to give my name. The Executor’s lawyer threatened to take dad to court and force him to reveal who his children names are and addresses. Can the executor force my dad to reveal my name and address?

Asked on January 20, 2011 under Estate Planning, North Carolina

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  An executor of an estate has a tremendous amount of power to enforce the provisions of the Last Will and Testament of the decedent.  He is backed up by the law so I would have to answer yes, he probably can ask the court to hold your father in contempt.  But your Father should reveal the names and addresses as requested.  It does not mean that you will have to inherit anything.  You can renounce your inheritance, meaning that you can let the executor know that you do not wish to accept the inheritance under the Will. This way everyone is happy.  Good luck.


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