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What Happens If a Beneficiary in a Will Has Already Died?

Every situation is unique when an estate is in the process of being closed, which is why it is essential to have a trusted estate attorney to assist with the proceedings. Sometimes, probate is short and simple if the deceased didn’t have many assets for distribution. Other times, a considerable amount of effort is needed when a person has a range of assets that need to be handled.

Proper estate planning minimizes the risk of complications during this process. You can make your wishes known so the estate executors can follow the specific details outlined in your requests. But there are certain situations that might be unforeseen, such as if a beneficiary passes away before the inheritance is passed to them.

Asset Management When a Beneficiary Passes Away

The outcome of this situation will vary depending on the preparation of the deceased beneficiary. For example, if the person had an estate plan, then their received inheritance might be passed to the estate directly. Then the distribution will occur based on the beneficiary’s estate plan.

On the other hand, if the beneficiary did not have an estate plan, then the assets will need to be passed on through the succession laws in the state.

Another potential scenario is that the beneficiary passes while the trust is being administered. Sometimes, this possibility is already considered when the trust was created – so there are already stipulations in the trust to determine what happens with the assets if the beneficiary passes away. As a result, the trustee simply needs to follow the instructions listed in the trust.

Creating a Trust for All Situations

The best thing you can do is create a detailed trust and estate plan that covers the possible situations that could occur. Even though you can’t include every possibility, an experienced attorney can assist in writing in the specific details that ensure the protection of your assets.

If you need help with estate planning or creating a will, then Miles & Hatcher, LLP is always available to assist. Contact our experienced team to schedule a free consultation and learn more about these services: (909) 481-4080.

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