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What happens if a beneficiary to a will dies?
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# 1
Sunders18
Old 15-11-2012, 2:03 PM
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Default What happens if a beneficiary to a will dies?

My Grandmother passed away last week. My Mum was named as a beneficiary of the will along with her two brothers, each having an equal share. My Mum passed away in March leaving myself as her only surviving child. My sister died last year but has two children. My Grandmother did not change her will following the death of my Mum. I understand from the executor that my Mothers share passes to her children but, my question is as my sister is deceased will her share automatically go to her children being my Grandmothers Great Grandchildren?
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# 2
RAS
Old 15-11-2012, 2:12 PM
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Does the will specify what will happen?
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# 3
Sunders18
Old 15-11-2012, 2:19 PM
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No it doesn't
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# 4
Mojisola
Old 15-11-2012, 2:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunders18 View Post
I understand from the executor that my Mothers share passes to her children but, my question is as my sister is deceased will her share automatically go to her children being my Grandmothers Great Grandchildren?
Are any of the beneficiaries suggesting that the children shouldn't have their mother's share?
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# 5
Sunders18
Old 15-11-2012, 2:46 PM
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Yes they are
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# 6
Mojisola
Old 15-11-2012, 2:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunders18 View Post
Yes they are
That's rotten. I think the money passes down with the blood line.

It will be a shame if everyone's share of the estate is reduced by a legal challenge by some of the beneficiaries.
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# 7
Sunders18
Old 15-11-2012, 2:57 PM
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Its not an insignificant amount that will be in the estate and I think some people just get greedy. Times like this can bring out the worst in people.
Thank you for your advice Mojisola and hopefully it will get passed down the blood line.
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# 8
rpc
Old 15-11-2012, 3:03 PM
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It depends very much on the wording. Are you able to post the clause with the bequest to your mother and any clause that covers the residue?

It is also possible that there is a partial intestacy and the share that was allocated to your mother will be distributed under intestacy rules.

Are you in England/Wales or Scotland? The rules are quite different.
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# 9
Mojisola
Old 15-11-2012, 3:03 PM
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I hope it can be resolved amicably - many deceased people would be horrified at the fights that start when there's money in the air.
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# 10
Sunders18
Old 15-11-2012, 3:23 PM
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rpc, I wont get to see the will until next week (I live in Essex and my family are all in Newcastle). The executor, who has a copy of the will but is unsure as to its interpretation, told me yesterday of a possible challenge.
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# 11
Fire Fox
Old 15-11-2012, 3:33 PM
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Welcome to MSE. The executor should get legal advice on the specific wording charged to the estate, not the opinion of unqualified people on a forum. An executor has a legal responsibility to ensure the money is distributed correctly, if they make any mistakes and are challenged the money can come out of their own pocket!
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# 12
Sunders18
Old 15-11-2012, 3:49 PM
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I'm sure that is what the Executor will do Fire Fox. With respect to your comments though it is not the Executor seeking advice it is me. I was simply wondering, in the absence of a specific instruction in a will, how far down the blood line the estate goes. It is clearly far more complex than I first thought.
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# 13
rpc
Old 15-11-2012, 4:12 PM
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In the absence of any specific instruction, the bequest will fail and become part of the residue. For a bequest to pass on per stirpes, it must be phrased to say that.

A gift that is left to pass down family branches "per stirpes" will do so until every branch has ended. That could be several generations. But if the will did not provide for gifts to be passed on that way then they won't do so.

A will that says "I leave X to Y" and nothing about if Y predeceases means that the gift X probably ends up in the residue. If there is no clause dealing with the residue, it is a partial intestacy.

With few exceptions, the will does what the will says. If the will doesn't specify something, then it does not happen. If the will does specify something then it must happen.

I'm afraid that nobody can tell you anything much at all unless the will is under Scots Law (where you have Legal Rights) or you supply the wording. The executor can pay for legal advice from the estate, so probably best to stand back and let them get professionals in.
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# 14
NAR
Old 15-11-2012, 6:59 PM
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Have to agree with rpc, if your sister predeceased your mother, it will only be yourself that receives your mother's (one third) share. Not sure who is thinking of challenging but certainly your two uncles share will not increase.

Only way this can change is if all beneficiaries agree to the grandchildren getting a share through a Deed of Variation.
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# 15
Mojisola
Old 15-11-2012, 7:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NAR View Post
Have to agree with rpc, if your sister predeceased your mother, it will only be yourself that receives your mother's (one third) share. Not sure who is thinking of challenging but certainly your two uncles share will not increase.
It does depend on the exact wording of the will. The way my Dad's will is written, money will pass down the generations. If I died before him, my share would be divided between my children. If any of them had already died but had living children, the children would inherit the share.
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# 16
NAR
Old 15-11-2012, 8:19 PM
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Yes Mojisola, I am agreeing with rpc's first paragraph.
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# 17
RAS
Old 16-11-2012, 7:15 PM
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There is nothing of course to prevent the remaining beneficiaries from agreeing a deed of variation which allows the children of the deceased to inherit, if the ALL agree to this.
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# 18
FastCash
Old 19-11-2012, 10:27 AM
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I think it will pass down to your sister's children unless there are other instructions on your grandmother's will.
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# 19
dzug1
Old 19-11-2012, 8:33 PM
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I don't think it's a question of 'challenging' the will so much as establishing what it actually says and what that means.

My understanding (English Law) is that grandchildren inherit in these circumstances (ie no specific instructions) but great grandchildren and remoter issue do not.
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# 20
antrobus
Old 28-11-2012, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rpc View Post
In the absence of any specific instruction, the bequest will fail and become part of the residue. For a bequest to pass on per stirpes, it must be phrased to say that....
No, I think s33 Wills Act 1837 applies.

Where -
(a) a will contains a devise or bequest to a child or remoter descendant of the testator; and
(b) the intended beneficiary dies before the testator, leaving issue; and
(c) issue of the intended beneficiary are living at the testator’s death, then, unless a contrary intention appears by the will, the devise or bequest shall take effect as a devise or bequest to the issue living at the testator’s death.


In the absence of any "contrary intention" appearing in the will the bequest will pass to the beneficiary's issue.
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