What happens if I die and my will is not updated?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What happens if I die and my will is not updated?

Say I left my son a Ford Mustang in my will. However, that car was destroyed in
a crash and I replaced it with a Camaro. If I were to die without updating my will
would my son receive the Camaro in place of the Mustang?

Asked on February 26, 2017 under Estate Planning, New Hampshire


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

It depends on the language of the will. If the will said, "I leave my son my car," he will get it. If it said, "I leave my son my Ford Mustang," then if there is no Mustang, he does not receive the Camaro--wills are given their plain or obvious meaning. Of course, he may still get the car under some other provision of the lease (E.g. if there is provision meant to capture all the otherwise-unidentified assets, such as "I leave the rest and residue of my estate to my son": in that case, since the car was not otherwise specifically left to anyone by the will, it will go to your son as part of the "residue" of your estate.)

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