My husband was named in his father’s will. When his father passed my husband was already deceased. Do I, as his widow get his share?

My husband died in September and his dad died a few months later. His dad’s will was never changed and his 5 kids were to split everything equally. Do I, as the widow, get 1/5 that was due to my husband?

Asked on May 18, 2009 under Estate Planning, Iowa


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Depends on what type of law your state follows.  Were there contingencies in the will if the beneficiary pre-deceases the testator?

If not, then the gift could lapse.

633.273  Antilapse statute.

1.  If a devisee dies before the testator, leaving issue who survive the testator, the devisee's issue who survive the testator shall inherit the property devised to the devisee per stirpes, unless from the terms of the will, the intent is clear and explicit to the contrary.

2.  A person who would have been a devisee under a class gift, if the person had survived the testator, is treated as a devisee for purposes of this section, provided the person's death occurred after the execution of the will, unless from the terms of the will, the intent is clear and explicit to the contrary.

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