Estate Law Questions? Ask an Estate Lawyer.
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I am sorry to learn of your step mother's death.
Regarding the annuity, it should pass to the estate and be distributed according to the will in probate.
The executor owes you a fiduciary duty to execute the will according to the testamentary document (the will).
Unfortunately, the executor's attorney does not owe you any duty at all (however, they do have an obligation simply by virtue of being a licensed attorney not to mislead or misrepresent themselves).
If you need to contest the handling of the probate matter, you will need to either represent yourself in the probate matter or hire your own attorney to represent your interests - usually simply hiring your own attorney is enough to force the issue.
Unfortunately I cannot advise you specifically as to whether you must begin making the payments - although in general it is likely.
But it does sound like it is probably worthwhile to hire your own attorney at this point - you can likely get results simply by having your own attorney contact the executor's and make a demand that they follow the terms of the will. (keeping costs down).
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