If a beneficiary under a Will dies before the Will is probated, what happens to their inheritance?
If a woman makes a Will that splits the estate equally between 2 brothers. The older brother becomes the trustee of the estate on her death, but in 3 years time never probates the Will or provides any accounting of what the estate is comprised of. He then dies. The surviving brother then becomes the trustee and he probates the Will. Does he then inherit the whole estate, or is it still split in half and his dead brother's half goes into his estate (even though the will was never probated during his life time?)
Great question but without the actual document, a generalization of what can occur will be told. A will is usually probated. If the will indicates Older Brother is to be the executor and Younger Brother takes equally with Older Brother, then the probate laws in your state and probably the judge's interpretation will determine if the lack of probate will impact the inheritance. Pre-supposing it does not because the intent of the decedent was to split her estate equally between her two sons, then the two brothers take equally under the will because the Older Brother did not die until after mom died. Older Brother takes half and Younger Brother takes half. Assuming probate impacts the inheritance, it could mean Older Brother's portion fails and then the residue of the estate provision takes over.
You really need to take the will to a probate attorney to help guide you with respect to how this inheritance should go. More likely than not, it will be split 50-50 and whatever your Older Brother arranged will impact how his property is dvided amongst his family.