When a recipient who stands to get a present under a Will dies prior to the testator dies, the present has no one to go to. This is called lapse. When this occurs, that gift passes according either to the terms of the Will or to your state’s intestacy laws and not to the deceased recipient’s descendants.
Nevertheless, all states have some kind of anti-lapse laws, also referred to as anti-lapse statutes that permit presents to go to the pre-deceased recipient’s family if the beneficiary is a close member of the family. The laws vary widely, so you must talk to a qualified estate planning attorney for suggestions about the anti-lapse laws in your state.
Relations. Anti-lapse laws apply based upon the relationship the testator needs to the pre-deceased beneficiary. These laws specify that a present provided to a close relative does not lapse if that relative pre-deceased the testator, but they differ in what they count as a close relationship. Let’s take a look at an example. Let’s say your grandfather left in his Will a particular present to your father, however your dad passes away before your grandpa does. Your grandfather never changes that portion of his Will, so when he dies, the gift passes to your father’s children, implying you. Depending upon your state’s laws, it may likewise pass to his grandchildren or siblings.
Spouses. Gifts to spouses don’t count under anti-lapse laws. If, for example, your grandfather leaves a specific gift to your granny however your grandma passes away before he does, that gift lapses and passes according either to the regards to the Will or to your state’s intestacy laws.