What to do if in my grandmother’s Will she left everything to my father and his sister but my father predeceased his mother?

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What to do if in my grandmother’s Will she left everything to my father and his sister but my father predeceased his mother?

They also were both listed as co-executors of the Will. My father who did not have a Will, passed away nine years before my grandmother died. She never updated her Will but expressed that she wanted my fathers half to be distributed equally between my siblings and I. My aunt has decided that she does not want to distribute his half to us. Do we have any legal claim to the assets?

Asked on March 27, 2013 under Estate Planning, Oklahoma

Answers:

Catherine Blackburn / Blackburn Law Firm

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The answer to your question depends on how the will was written.  Usually, a will is written to give 1/2 to son and 1/2 to daughter "per stirpes."  This means that the son's share will go to the son's descendants. (The same is true for the daughter if she were to predecease the mother). 

Occassionally, the will is written 1/2 to son and 1/2 to daughter "per capita."  This means that the son's share goes to the daughter.  Writing the will to say 1/2 to son and 1/2 to daughter "or to the survivor of them" has the same effect.

You will have to look at the will to see if you receive anything.

Even if your aunt is now the executor (and she is), she must follow the language of the will.  Being the executor does not mean you can change the provisions of the will.

I suggest you consult an estate attorney in your grandmother's state to see what you and your sibling will receive.


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