If the beneficiary of an old Will is dead, are the beneficiary’s descendants now beneficiaries?

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If the beneficiary of an old Will is dead, are the beneficiary’s descendants now beneficiaries?

My uncle has passed away. His next of kin are my 2 sisters and I. Now, 2 of his cousins, claim that he promised her half of everything even though nothing was put on paper. Can a verbal promise become superior to the natural progression to next of kin?

Asked on August 11, 2012 under Estate Planning, Kansas

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss. Please speak with an attorney as to what is going on here. It is difficult to understand if a Will is actually in place.  Is there a "residuary" beneficiary ("all the rest residue and remainder of the estate goes to so and so") then they will inherit unless your state has an anti lapse statute.  But what worries me more is that Kansas allows oral or "nuncupative" wills to be admitted to probate  so get an attorney asap.  Good luck.


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