Is a new Will if a beneficiary dies?

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Is a new Will if a beneficiary dies?

My brother passed away and my parents have a Will with he and I as recipients. Do they have to make a new Will?

Asked on August 7, 2019 under Estate Planning, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

They do not automatically have to make a new will, but may choose to do so. Depending on how the will was written, if your brother had descendents (children, grandchildren), they may or may not receive what he would have received: as stated, it depends on the wording of the will. So if he has children and they want the children to inherit, they 1) need to make sure the will does that; and 2) if the children are minor, may need to designate someone (e.g. their mother) to be trustee for their money until they become adults.
If he had no descendents, everything should then go to you (unless there was some provision in the will stating otherwise--i.e. designating someone else to receive his share if he predeceased them). Assuming they are ok with that, they don't need to do anything. 
So the answer is, they should review the will against what they want to happen now that your brother has passed. If the will directs the money and assets where they want it to go, there is no need to change anything; but if the change in circumstances means that the will would cause an outcome or distribution they don't want, they need to change it. 
If they have any trouble understanding what will happen now with the will, they should take it to an attorney to review with them.


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