Is there a way to transfer an inheritance to a beneficiary’s children if the beneficiary is incarcerated?

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Is there a way to transfer an inheritance to a beneficiary’s children if the beneficiary is incarcerated?

My grandfather made a Will 14 years ago, leaving 1/3 of his estate to each of his children. My father in now in prison. My uncle is the executor of the living trust but has not communicated with me what is in the Will. My grandma called and said that it was my grandpa’s intention to change the Will from my dad’s name to my sister and I after my dad was put in jail. She is not sure if he ever did. Is there any way to know if he actually did or not? If not, is there a way my dad can transfer his inheritance to his children?

Asked on April 9, 2012 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  Here is the thing: if your Grandfather never actually changed his Will then there is nothing that you can do about it.  But you need to know how th Will is written with regard to the passing of the property from your Father.  If he renounces his share then will it go to you and your sister or to the other beneficiaries? It depends on how it is written.  A Will is a public record and you can view anything that is filed in the probate court file.  A trust - which you mention here - is not, and that may be the real key here.  The beneficiaries can ask.  And should ask.  You need legal help here.  Good luck.


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