What happens if a beneficiary predeceases the maker of the Will?

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What happens if a beneficiary predeceases the maker of the Will?

My mom died and my grandma died about 9 months later. My uncle is saying that since my mother predeceased my grandmother that my mother’s portion of the Will is left to the remaining beneficiaries? Is this a standard clause in a Will?

Asked on June 20, 2016 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

When a beneficiary predeceases the person who made the Will (i.e. the "testator"), there are several possibilities regarding the distribution of the estate. It all depends on the wording of the Will, in what state it is being probated, and who the dead benficiary was (e.g. a child). For example, the gift may lapse and go back into the estate to be distributed according to the residuary clause (although most states have enacted "anti-lapse" statutes to prevent this). Or, a contingent beneficiary may be named who will then receive the gift. If the dead beneficiary was a child of the testator, then their share may go the their children (i.e. the testor's grandchildren) or it may just be split among the testator's surviving children. Without seeing the Will, it's hard to say for certain. At this point, you should consult directly with a local probate attorney; they can best advise you further.


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