What happens when the beneficiary of a Will dies before the maker of the Will?

There are 3 children, 1 of whom just recently passed away. My father is deceased and my mother’s health is declining quickly. The Will states that the estate assets are to be split 3 ways. Now that my brother is deceased, what is protocol in dividing the assets? I think that his children should receive his share and not his wife.

Asked on November 20, 2014 under Estate Planning, Indiana


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your situation.  The Will itself should say words like "per stirpes" or "per capita" in some paragraph that deals with this issue. Per stirpes means the kids would inherit, not necessarily the Wife. Indiana seems to favor this disposition but the Will would govern.  Please bring it to an attorney to review.  Good luck.

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