if 3 siblings share an inheritance and 1 sibling dies, who would get the deceased siblings share?

UPDATED: Mar 30, 2016

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if 3 siblings share an inheritance and 1 sibling dies, who would get the deceased siblings share?

My brother passed away and he is married and has a child. Will his wife get his share of the inheritance?

Asked on March 30, 2016 under Estate Planning, West Virginia


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

As a general rule, when a member of a group dies before the "testator" (i.e. the maker of the Will), the property goes to the surviving members of the group. This is true unless the Will statees otherwise. Therefore, if the Will provided that the estate was "to be divided among my children", then it would be split between the surviving children. If, however, the Will left the property specifically to the children by name, then the inheritance is not considered a "class gift". That means the deceased sibling's share would go to their children (or, if there were no children it would pass as per the terms of the residuary clause in the Will). In no event, would a deceased beneficiary's spouse inherit unless the Will specifically named them as an alternate in case of their spouse's death.

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