If my grandmother passed 2 years ago and my mother was named in the will be she died before my grandmother, what are my brother and I entitled to?

Her husband had living rights to the house. At the time of her death she had 4 living children and 1 deceased child my mother. In her Will it reads off something like her estate goes to her children and it names all of them and children of any child who predeceased her. She knew my mother was dying when she had her Will drawn up. I don’t have a copy, so I’m trying to get the wording right. What exactly does this mean for me and my brother? And also for my cousins whose father died after my grandma?

Asked on September 18, 2015 under Estate Planning, North Carolina


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Sorry to hear about your mother, grandmother, and uncle.
You and your brother inherit the share of your grandmother's estate that your mother would have inherited had your mother survived.
For example, your grandmother had five children.  If the Will provides for equal shares to be inherited by each child, each child would receive 1/5.  You and your brother would each inherit 1/10 because 1/10 + 1/10 = 2/10 = 1/5 which represents the 1/5 your mother would have inherited.
If your grandmother's Will provides for unequal shares to be inherited by each child, then the amount your mother would have inherited, you and your brother would each inherit 1/2 of that amount.  For example, if your mother would have inherited 1/6, then you and your brother would each inherit 1/12 because 1/12 + 1/12 = 2/12 = 1/6.
As for your cousins, since their father, your uncle, survived your grandmother and inherited his share, your cousins would not inherit anything from your grandmother's estate.  If their father, your uncle, left a Will, the provisions of the Will will determine what your cousins inherit.
If your uncle died intestate without a Will and had a surviving spouse, she inherits his entire estate and your cousins inherit nothing.  If your uncle did not have a surviving spouse, your cousins inherit equal shares of their father's estate.  For example, if your uncle had three children, each inherits 1/3.  If there are deceased cousins who had children, under intestate succession, those children your uncle's grandchildren inherit the share their deceased parent would have inherited had the deceased parent survived.

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