If an amendment was made prior to death naming someone as an executor, would that change who the beneficiaries are?

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If an amendment was made prior to death naming someone as an executor, would that change who the beneficiaries are?

My husband’s uncle died with no spouse or children and only 1 living sibling. Before his death he submitted an amendment to a trustee naming my husband as the executor of the estate. The trustee said that she would put forth a ratification once we submitted his death certificate as well as 1 for the (uncle’s) parents and other siblings, as well as a Letter of Office. Once we submit the Letter of Office and all the death certificates, would the property be ours or would it still go through probate and be divided between the remaining sibling and my husband’s brothers?

Asked on March 20, 2011 under Estate Planning, Illinois

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  I am a bit confused by your question here.  But maybe really you are a bit confused by what is going on as well. First, one would have to read all the documentation here to give any guidance as to who gets what. But being named as an executor of an estate does not in and of itself give you a right to inherit.  If his uncle dies intestate - without a will and with assets that were not accounted for in a trust- then most likely his uncle's siblings and parents would inherit all under Illinois intestacy laws.  If your husband is the beneficiary of the trust then that is a different story but using the word "executor" leads me to believe that there is a Will out there.  You need someone to help with this.  Get an attorney.  Good luck.


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