Estate Planning Contingencies: What If My Beneficiary Dies Before Me?
When you name the beneficiaries in your will, your assumption is that you will pass away before your heirs. However, due to the general uncertainties of life, a beneficiary may sometimes die before you. What does this mean for the transfer of your estate? Here are a few things you need to know.
- California has an anti-lapse statute – This means that your estate can pass to the spouse or children of your kin. For example, if you leave money to your brother, but he dies before you, his wife or kids will receive the inheritance. This won’t work if you leave your money to a close friend who is not a blood relative.
- You can overrule the anti-lapse statute – Let’s say you want to leave $15,000 to your favorite nephew, but you have no relationship with his wife or children. You can include a clause in your will that he gets the money if he survives you, but that the gift lapses if he is not alive.
- The key is clarity – Include clear instructions on what is to happen if your beneficiary does not live to receive his or her inheritance This will ensure that your estate goes exactly where you want it to go.
Preparing a Will and Other Estate Documents in California
In order to ensure that your last will and testament along with other estate planning documents are all executed properly, contact San Diego’s estate planning professionals at Petrov Law Firm. To get started on your documents or to update existing estate plans, contact us today at 619-344-0360.