if 3 siblings share an inheritance and 1 sibling dies, who would get the deceased siblings share?

My brother passed away and he is married and has a child. Will his wife get his share of the inheritance?

Asked on March 30, 2016 under Estate Planning, West Virginia

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

As a general rule, when a member of a group dies before the "testator" (i.e. the maker of the Will), the property goes to the surviving members of the group. This is true unless the Will statees otherwise. Therefore, if the Will provided that the estate was "to be divided among my children", then it would be split between the surviving children. If, however, the Will left the property specifically to the children by name, then the inheritance is not considered a "class gift". That means the deceased sibling's share would go to their children (or, if there were no children it would pass as per the terms of the residuary clause in the Will). In no event, would a deceased beneficiary's spouse inherit unless the Will specifically named them as an alternate in case of their spouse's death.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.