Tag Archives: heir

What if an Heir Dies First?

When it comes to administering a loved one’s estate, you are likely to be faced with a broad range of issues. As a result, you should confer with a seasoned estate planning attorney to ensure that you comply with the law and that you do not incur personal liability. One of the most significant problem areas for estate administrators occurs when it comes to distributing the assets of the estate. For example, what should happen if an heir dies while the estate is being administered?

All estate administration cases are unique and depend on the terms of the will or trust. In general, if a beneficiary is not related to the deceased by blood, then depending on when they died, his or her gift lapses or fails. This means that it becomes a part of the residue of the estate and will be distributed as provided in the estate planning documents.

If the beneficiary is related by blood to the deceased and the will does not set forth an alternate disposition, the descendants of the deceased beneficiary will probably inherit as follows:

  • The inheritance intended for the deceased heir may pass directly to his or her estate
  • If the heir died and left an estate plan, his or her inheritance will likely be distributed to the beneficiaries according to the terms of the estate plan
  • If the heir dies without an estate plan, his or her inheritance will be distributed as provided under the laws of intestate succession

In order for an inheritance to be distributed to the beneficiaries of the deceased heir’s estate, a separate probate case may need to be filed for the deceased heir, depending on the type of assets and the value of the decedent’s estate.

We know that these types of issues are complicated and we are here to help. The Astill Law Office has provided high quality legal services for over 30 years. We specialize in wills, trusts, estate planning, and asset protection. If you have any questions about creating a Trust, Will, or estate planning in general, contact The Astill Law Office at 801-438-8698.