What happens if a beneficiary of a trust dies?

UPDATED: Jan 11, 2012

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What happens if a beneficiary of a trust dies?

My husband and I have a revocable trust. In section where it lists the beneficiaries of our estate is says……”If not indicated otherwise, if any beneficiary predeceases distribution herein and leaves issue surviving, his/her share be distribution to such issue by right of representation. If said beneficiary leaves not issue surviving, his/her share shall lapse and shall be divided among the other beneficiaries according to their respective percentage. Does that mean if I list my sister and she passes before me, her husband or kids get her share if they are alive?

Asked on January 11, 2012 under Estate Planning, California


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Thank you for writing that portion that you wish interpreted.  But I think that the best thing to do is have the attorney that drafted the trust explain it to you as it needs to be read in total.  Now, from what you have written here, and "not indicated otherwise" meaning in another part of the trust document, the your sister is a named beneficiary and she dies before you and your husband, then her shre goes to her kids - "issue"- not to her husband.  If no kids then her share goes back in to the trust pot to be distributed to the other beneficiaries.  Good luck.

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