If a beneficiary predeceases the person making the Will, can their inheritance be given to another person who is also named in the Will?

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If a beneficiary predeceases the person making the Will, can their inheritance be given to another person who is also named in the Will?

Asked on August 14, 2013 under Estate Planning, Maryland

Answers:

Nathan Wagner / Law Office of Nathan Wagner

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Every will should have a "residuary clause", which distributes all of the assets not specifically left to anyone. The inheritance of a predeceased beneficiary was usually goes to the person named in the the will's residuary clause. 

So if the predeceased beneficiary was to receive a specific bequest (such as "I give X my diamond ring and $10,000"), then those assets become part of the residuary and are distributed according to the residuary clause. 

If the predeceased beneficiary was named in the residuary clause (such as "I give X and Y and Z the remainder of my estate, in equal shares"), then the portion that the predeceased beneficiary would have inherited goes to the others named in the residuary clause. If there are no surviving beneficiaries named in the residuary clause, then the residuary goes to the next of kin according to your state's intestacy laws. 


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