When a beneficiary who stands to receive a present under a Will dies prior to the testator dies, the present has nobody to go to. This is called lapse. When this takes place, that present passes according either to the regards to the Will or to your state’s intestacy laws and not to the deceased recipient’s descendants.
However, all states have some type of anti-lapse laws, also referred to as anti-lapse statutes that permit presents to go to the pre-deceased beneficiary’s household if the recipient is a close family member. The laws vary extensively, so you should talk with a competent estate planning lawyer for suggestions about the anti-lapse laws in your state.
Relations. Anti-lapse laws use based on the relationship the testator needs to the pre-deceased recipient. These laws state that a gift given to a close relative does not lapse if that relative pre-deceased the testator, however they differ in what they count as a close relationship. Let’s look at an example. Let’s state your grandpa left in his Will a particular gift to your father, however your father passes away before your grandfather does. Your grandfather never ever changes that portion of his Will, so when he passes away, the present passes to your father’s kids, indicating you. Depending on your state’s laws, it might also pass to his grandchildren or brother or sisters.
Spouses. Presents to partners do not count under anti-lapse laws. If, for example, your grandpa leaves a particular gift to your grandma but 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.