If I sign a consent for the appointment of an independent executor, will I forfeit any rights that I have as beneficiary on my father’s Will?

My father just passed away. He has a Will with his children listed as beneficiaries. We have not seen the Will, however his wife has given us a document to sign that will make her the independent executor to serve without bond. I am not comfortable signing this document because I nor any of my siblings have seen the Will.

Asked on December 17, 2018 under Estate Planning, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

No, the executor carries out the will; she must do what the will says and distribute the estate to the named beneficiaries. The executor whomever it is, cannot depart from the terms of the will. The identity of the executor does not affect who inherits what. That said, if she needs or wants your signature, you can insist on seeing the will before you sign; and if you end up believing that the will is fraudulent in some way, speak to a probate attorney about challenging it.

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