My mother is deceased. She had two brothers, one just died. The one that died named both my mother and my other uncle as both co-executors of his estate and both as heirs. My surviving uncle's attorney says that he is now the sole executor, however that both my uncle and I are each 50% beneficiaries of the estate. I need to confirm what the attorney is saying.
Is it true that only my living uncle is the executor? If I was not named in my deceased uncle's will and I do not assume executor responsibilities, why then under NJ law do I assume my deceased mother's share of the inheritance? (FYI - I was the sole heir of my mother's estate years ago)
2 Answers from Attorneys
Executors are the people who administer the estate. Heirs or beneficiaries under the will are the people who receive the assets according to the will. There is no conflict where one person is the executor and a beneficiary is not.
If you have questions about whether or not the estates are being properly administered, you need to consult a lawyer to go over the situation in more detail and to review the documents. Legal answers can't be provided in questions and answers on lawguru, we can only point you in the direction where you might find answers.
THIS RESPONSE IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE, SINCE I DO NOT HAVE ALL OF THE INFORMATION THAT WOULD BE REQUIRED, AND I DO NOT HAVE A REPRESENTATION AGREEMENT WITH YOU.
* If the answers to your question confirm that you have a valid issue or worthwhile claim, your next step should almost always be to establish a dialog with a lawyer who can provide specific advice to you. Contact a lawyer in your county or township.
* Another reason for contacting a lawyer is that it is often impossible to give a good answer in the Internet Q&A format without having more information. The unique circumstances of your situation and things that you may not have thought to mention in your question may completely change the answer. If you want to be sure that you have a complete answer to your question and an understanding of what that answer means, establish a connection with a lawyer who practices in the area of your concern.
I have not seen the actual Will. so my response will be based on base suppositions. If there was no provision for a successor Executor to one predeceasing the Testator (Will maker), only the surviving person named is entitled to serve. However, unless a Will indicates something to the contrary, if a named beneficiary (heir) predeceases the Testator, the share that otherwise would have gone to the person who predeceased (your mother) now goes to that person's closest heir(s), which seems to be you. Thus, you get what your mother would have gotten if she survived, but do not replace her as an Executor.
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