When a beneficiary who stands to get a gift under a Will passes away before the testator dies, the gift has no one to go to. This is called lapse. When this happens, that present passes according either to the regards to the Will or to your state’s intestacy laws and not to the departed beneficiary’s descendants.
However, all states have some type of anti-lapse laws, likewise referred to as anti-lapse statutes that enable gifts to go to the pre-deceased recipient’s household if the beneficiary is a close relative. The laws vary widely, so you ought to talk with a competent estate planning lawyer for advice about the anti-lapse laws in your state.
Relations. Anti-lapse laws use based upon the relationship the testator has to the pre-deceased beneficiary. These laws specify that a gift given to a close relative doesn’t lapse if that relative pre-deceased the testator, but they vary in what they count as a close relationship. Let’s look at an example. Let’s state your grandpa left in his Will a specific present to your daddy, but your dad dies prior to your grandpa does. Your grandpa never changes that portion of his Will, so when he dies, the present passes to your daddy’s children, suggesting you. Depending upon your state’s laws, it may also pass to his grandchildren or brother or sisters.
Spouses. Gifts to partners do not count under anti-lapse laws. If, for example, your grandfather leaves a particular gift to your granny however your granny dies before he does, that present lapses and passes according either to the terms of the Will or to your state’s intestacy laws.