When a recipient who stands to receive a present under a Will dies before the testator dies, the gift has nobody to go to. This is called lapse. When this happens, that present passes according either to the terms of the Will or to your state’s intestacy laws and not to the departed recipient’s descendants.
Nevertheless, all states have some kind of anti-lapse laws, also understood as anti-lapse statutes that enable presents to go to the pre-deceased beneficiary’s family if the beneficiary is a close member of the family. The laws vary extensively, so you ought to talk to a qualified estate planning attorney 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 recipient. These laws state that a gift given to a close relative doesn’t lapse if that relative pre-deceased the testator, but they differ in what they count as a close relationship. Let’s look at an example. Let’s state your grandfather left in his Will a specific gift to your father, but your dad passes away prior to your grandpa does. Your grandpa never ever changes that portion of his Will, so when he dies, the gift passes to your dad’s children, suggesting you. Depending on your state’s laws, it may also pass to his grandchildren or siblings.
Spouses. Gifts to partners do not count under anti-lapse laws. If, for example, your grandpa leaves a specific present to your grandma but your granny dies prior to he does, that gift lapses and passes according either to the regards to the Will or to your state’s intestacy laws.