How best to provide for distribution of a Will if one of the beneficiaries pre-deceased the maker and has no children?

UPDATED: Jan 30, 2014

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How best to provide for distribution of a Will if one of the beneficiaries pre-deceased the maker and has no children?

A Will is being written that will divide the estate equally among 4 children to be paid out on a per stirpes basis. One of the children has no children of her own.Can the maker of the Will stipulate that if the child that has no children of her own pre-deceased him, then the portion that would have gone to her could go to her estate to be distributed according to the terms of her Will instead of being distributed to the remaining 3 children (or their children)?

Asked on January 30, 2014 under Estate Planning, Colorado


Nathan Wagner / Law Office of Nathan Wagner

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You could have the will give the predeceased child's share to the heirs named in the child's will. This is called a power of appointment (the child is given the power to appoint who will receive a portion of the parent's estate). But most people would want to avoid doing this. After all, the inheritance would not do the predeceased child any good, and it could end up going to someone outside the family. I encourage you to talk to an estate planning lawyer about your situation. There is probably a better way to do what you are trying to accomplish. 

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 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.

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