Does my brother’s family inherit his portion of his intended inheritance?

My brother was chosen as executer of my mother’s will. There were 4 siblings who were to inherit equally. My brother passed away a month ago and my mother just passed away. My question is do the remaining 3 siblings now share the inheritance equally, or does my brother’s family take his portion?

Asked on October 22, 2017 under Estate Planning, Georgia

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

When a beneficiary predeceases the "testator" (i.e. the person who made the Will), there are several possibilities as to what can happen with the distribution of the estate. It depends on just how the Will is the worded, in what state it is being probated, and who the dead beneficiary was. The gift may "lapse" which means that it goes back into the estate to be distributed according to the "residuary clause" of the Will, although, most states have enacted "anti-lapse" laws to prevent this. Or a contingent beneficiary may be named the Will and then they receive the bequest in the event that the primary beneficiary cannot inherit. Or if the deceased beneficiary was a child of the testator, then their share may in turn go the their children (i.e. the testor's grandchildren) or it may just be split among the testator's surviving children. Without reviewing the specific Will itself , it is hard to determine what exactly will happen. At this point, you should consult directly with a local probate attorney, as they can best advise you further.


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