Does the primary beneficiary of a probated estate in Illinois inherit monetary gifts that were assigned to other beneficiaries, but who cannot be located?

My late aunt designated me as her
primary beneficiary in her will, but
also left monetary gifts to other
beneficiaries. Some of those
beneficiaries have been unable to be
found by the executor. So I am
wondering, does the money that is left
unclaimed by those beneficiaries go to
me or to the state of Illinois, or
happens to it? Thank you for your help

Asked on November 29, 2018 under Estate Planning, Indiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

If the will states that if another beneficiary cannot be located or paid for some reason, then their portion will go to you. If the will does not say that, however, then because the will is "silent" about this situation (doesn't cover it), the unclaimed portions should pass by interstate succession, or the rules for who gets what when there is no will. That is generally to a spouse first, then children, then parents, then siblings, then more distant relatives.

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