It’s an important question to consider: what happens if the beneficiary of a will has passed away? While the answer may differ depending on local laws, which is why you should speak with your lawyer in Tampa, or may even be spelled out in the will, it’s important to have an idea of what happens should you face this problem. Again, that’s why your lawyer in Tampa can be a critical asset for your estate planning needs.
In some cases, a will states that the beneficiary cannot come into possession of the stated property unless they survive the deceased by a specific period of time, usually ranging from 5-60 days. Even if the will does not expressly state this, sometimes state and local laws will have a “survivorship period” that the beneficiary will need to outlive before taking possession of whatever is stated in the will. When neither the will nor state or local law have stipulations regarding survivorship, a beneficiary who survives the person who’s will they are in by even an hour will stand to inherit whatever they are bequeathed. Should they die shortly thereafter, the property becomes part of their estate and will be distributed accordingly. Therefore, make sure you go over your estate planning with your trusted lawyer in Tampa.
In cases where the situation is more spelled out, alternate beneficiaries might be named in the will. These cases are more straightforward, as the alternate beneficiaries instead become the beneficiary. Some cases can be more complex, such as when there is no alternate beneficiary, or when the alternate beneficiary fails to meet the survivorship standards. In these cases the property can be transferred to either a residuary beneficiary, or to the beneficiary’s descendants.
When the beneficiary of a will passes away, every state except Louisiana has laws that prevent gifts from “lapsing,” or going un-transferred, which will try to interpret what the writer of the will would have wanted. In these cases, the gift will likely pass to the children of the beneficiary. These laws almost always apply in cases where the beneficiary and the writer of the will are related by blood, so there might be cases that arise in which the situation is more complicated, but if that’s the case, or in any other case really, a good estate lawyer can help make sure that the gifts go to the people best suited to take possession.
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