Dad’s will designated 3 grown children as equal-share heirs (per stirpes). Do they gain title to shares of his net estate as of the date of his death?

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Dad’s will designated 3 grown children as equal-share heirs (per stirpes). Do they gain title to shares of his net estate as of the date of his death?

This question centers around that period between and inclusive of the date of dad’s death and the date his will is finally probated and his estate distributed in 3 equal shares to the heirs. I am one of the 3 grown children, and will use my share of the inheritance to reduce debt for my wife and myself in preparation for retirement. But what if I should die before the estate is distributed? I am a heart patient; my dying is a possibility if not a probability. I know under “per stirpes” my share passes to my son if I predeceased dad? Here, I’m dying after dad but before getting my 1/3 share.

Asked on June 18, 2009 under Estate Planning, South Carolina

Answers:

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You share vests as of the date of your father's death.  If his will provides per stirpes distribution, then your estate will inherit your 1/3 share.  Your estate will in turn make distribution to your heirs either pursuant to the terms of your will, or if you have no will (ie if your are "intestate"), then your share will be distributed pursuant to your states intestacy statutes.  Basically that would be your wife and son.


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