If my father is in my grandmother’s Will but died before she did, then legally who inherits my father’s share?

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If my father is in my grandmother’s Will but died before she did, then legally who inherits my father’s share?

Does my mother inherit his share or do my sister and I inherit his share?

Asked on July 5, 2014 under Estate Planning, New Hampshire

Answers:

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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

In a situation such as this, if a Will does not name a contingent beneficiary, a gift to a deceased beneficiary is said to have failed or "lapsed". What happens then depends on state law and how the Will is written. So the property will go to either to the "residuary beneficiary' (the person who is listed to inherit everything that isn’t left specifically to another beneficiary, if one is so named); or the deceased beneficiary's descendants (virtually all states now have "anti-lapse" laws that generally give the property to the deceased beneficiary's children); or the deceased beneficiary's heirs (if the deceased beneficiary had no children/grandchildren their share is distributed as if there had been no Will).

Note: Anti-lapse laws almost never apply to a beneficiary who isn’t related to the deceased beneficiary by blood, so spouses are not typically covered.

At this point, you should consult with probate attorney as to your rights in this matter.


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