What happens if the beneficiary and executor of a Will dies before the testator?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What happens if the beneficiary and executor of a Will dies before the testator?

Father passed. Will states son is executor and is to receive all assets. Son has passed before father and Will was not changed. Father has a living daughter but she is not in Will. Deceased son has 2 daughters. Who is the next of kin?

Asked on March 26, 2016 under Estate Planning, Hawaii


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

First of all, most states typically name a "contingent" executor in the event that the named executor cannot serve; if it doesn't then the probate court will appoint a new executor (usually a family member or close friend).
Secondly, an child can legally be disinherited, although most states require that the disinhertance be specifically stated in the Will.
Thirdly, in the case of when a child predeceaces their parent, typically the deceased child's children (i.e. the grandchildren of the person making the Will) inherit in place of their deceased parent; this means that they are entitled to evenly split what their parent was to have inherited. 
At this point, you should consult directly with a local probate attorney; they can best advise you of your rights.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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