Anti-Lapse Laws

When a beneficiary who stands to receive a gift under a Will passes away prior to the testator dies, the gift has nobody to go to. This is called lapse. When this happens, that gift passes according either to the regards to the Will or to your state’s intestacy laws and not to the departed recipient’s descendants.

However, all states have some type of anti-lapse laws, also called anti-lapse statutes that enable gifts to go to the pre-deceased recipient’s family if the recipient is a close family member. The laws differ extensively, so you must speak with a qualified estate planning lawyer for guidance 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 state that a present offered to a close relative doesn’t lapse if that relative pre-deceased the testator, however they vary in what they count as a close relationship. Let’s take a look at an example. Let’s state your grandfather left in his Will a specific present to your dad, however your daddy dies before your grandfather does. Your grandpa never ever alters that part of his Will, so when he passes away, the present passes to your dad’s kids, implying 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 instance, your grandpa leaves a specific gift to your grandma however your grandmother dies prior to he does, that present lapses and passes according either to the regards to the Will or to your state’s intestacy laws.