What happens when the person named in Will predeceases the maker of the Will?

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What happens when the person named in Will predeceases the maker of the Will?

My uncle made his Will 28 year ago and named 1 of his sisters as executor and also named her to received the family farm. She is deceased and, to our knowledge, my uncle has not made a new Will. If my uncle dies before he changes his Will, what will happen to the estate?

Asked on July 25, 2016 under Estate Planning, Florida

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

When a beneficiary predeceases the "testator", there are several possibilities regarding how the estate will be distributed. It all depends on just how the Will is worded, in what state it is being probated, and who the dead beneficiary was. The "bequest" (i. e. the gift) may lapse and go back into the estate to be distributed according to the residuary clause of the Will (although most states have enacted "anti-lapse" statutes to prevent this). Or, a contingent beneficiary may be named in the Will who will then receive the bequest. Without reviewing the Will, it's hard to say. At this point, you should directly consult with a probate attorney; they can best advise you further.


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