What to do if a Will and amendments are not clear?

UPDATED: Apr 30, 2014

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What to do if a Will and amendments are not clear?

My brother has named me executor of his will.His original Will states that his heirs that are living shall inherit. He at some point filed an addendum to his Will naming each of his children and what they should get, cars, etc. One of the things he named was that his daughter would receive $6000 after the estate was settled. His daughter passed away recently, and his intention is that everything should then go to the remaining two children. Does he have to file an amendment to the amendment taking his named daughter off the Will, or does the original Will, which clearly states that only those that are living, shall inherit.

Asked on April 30, 2014 under Estate Planning, Montana


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Sorry to hear about your niece.

A codocil (amendment to the Will) is not necessary because the deceased daughter's share ($6000) goes back into your brother's estate and will be divided equally among the surviving heirs.

However, if your niece had surviving children, those children might contest the Will and claim that they should inherit their deceased mother's share.  If your brother does not want that to occur, then a codocil would be advisable.

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