What happens to a beneficiary ‘s share if they die before the maker of the Will?

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What happens to a beneficiary ‘s share if they die before the maker of the Will?

A single mother had 4 adult children and her Will divides her estate into 4 equal parts – 1 part for each child – 1 son dies before the mother. He was married at his time of death but divorced from the mother of his adult children. The single mother dies without changing her Will. Does the deceased brother’s share automatically go to the children of the deceased brother (from 1/4th of their grandmother’s estate)? Or to his wife? Or to his estate as he had a Will? Or does his 1/4 get evenly divided among the 3 surviving children of the single mother?

Asked on November 1, 2012 under Estate Planning, Pennsylvania

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Good question. Usually the Will of the person that passes after one of the beneficiaries passes sets forth if the beneficiary's heirs step up into the place of the beneficiiary or not. If so, the heirs of the beneficiary inherit the share.

If the Will does not set forth anything about stepping up into the place of the deceased beneficiary then that beneficiary's share is then taken care of in the residual portion of the Will to those named in it and who have survived the maker of the Will.


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