in Virginia what happens if someone dies before distribution of money from a will

UPDATED: Jun 15, 2017

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in Virginia what happens if someone dies before distribution of money from a will

in Virginia what happens if someone dies before distribution of money from a will?
That person is listed in the will.

Asked on June 15, 2017 under Estate Planning, Virginia


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If the beneficiary dies after the testator (i.e. the maker of the Will), but before the Will proceeds are distributed, then the the proceeds are paid to the beneficiary's estate. If the benefciary dies before the testator, then typically the terms of the Will determine what happens to the proceeds. It can "lapse" which means that the gift fails and is then distributed as provided for in the "residuary clause" of the Will (i.e. the section that reads, "All the rest, residue and remainder of my estate goes to X"). However under the theory that the deceased would want the beneficiary's family to inherit, the majority of states have enacted "anti-lapse" statutes. These laws save the gift as if it had been made to the deceased beneficiary's descendants (i.e. the children of the deceased). However, a testator can prevent such a law from taking effect by providing that the gift only go to the named beneficiary (or their family) only if that beneficiary survives the testator. In other words, they must survive to inherit. Bottom line, without being able to review the language in the Will its hard to give a final answer. What you should do now is to consult directly with a probate attorney as to all of this.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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