After being listed as a beneficiary in a person’s Will, how will I know if I was removed from the Will?

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After being listed as a beneficiary in a person’s Will, how will I know if I was removed from the Will?

Is there something that can be added to the Will stating I cannot be removed or at least be notified if I was?

Asked on February 27, 2013 under Estate Planning, Illinois

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

A beneficiary has no enforceable rights under a Will until after the "testator's" (i.e. maker's) death. Up until that time, the testator can make any changes that they see fit. Accordingly, there is no legal obligation for you to be notified of any changes, no matter how they might affect you.

That having ben said, some family members have statutory  inheritance rights regardless of what a Will may provide. For example, in some states there is something known as a "spousal elective share"; it provides that a surviving spouse must share in deceased spouse's estate even if their Will provides otherwise . Also, some children may not be disinherited if their late parent did not know of their birth.

If you think that you have rights to inherit under the law, you need to speak with an attorney as to your situation (but again, after the testator has died). 


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