Does my brother’s family inherit his portion of his intended inheritance?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Does my brother’s family inherit his portion of his intended inheritance?

My brother was chosen as executer of my mother’s will. There were 4 siblings who were to inherit equally. My brother passed away a month ago and my mother just passed away. My question is do the remaining 3 siblings now share the inheritance equally, or does my brother’s family take his portion?

Asked on October 22, 2017 under Estate Planning, Georgia


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

When a beneficiary predeceases the "testator" (i.e. the person who made the Will), there are several possibilities as to what can happen with the distribution of the estate. It depends on just how the Will is the worded, in what state it is being probated, and who the dead beneficiary was. The gift may "lapse" which means that it goes back into the estate to be distributed according to the "residuary clause" of the Will, although, most states have enacted "anti-lapse" laws to prevent this. Or a contingent beneficiary may be named the Will and then they receive the bequest in the event that the primary beneficiary cannot inherit. Or if the deceased beneficiary was a child of the testator, then their share may in turn go the their children (i.e. the testor's grandchildren) or it may just be split among the testator's surviving children. Without reviewing the specific Will itself , it is hard to determine what exactly will happen. At this point, you should consult directly with a local probate attorney, as they can best advise you further.

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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