Inheritance Lapses

There are a wide variety of complications that can occur in the execution of a final testament. One such instance occurs when a testator outlives a beneficiary, leading to a legal problem in which a part of the will or trust is made invalid. When a testator faces this problem, it is known as an inheritance lapse, as the property returns the testator’s estate. In these situations, the law has had to offer solutions for the creation of testaments and for probate courts to follow, which aim to simplify these issues.

Without special provisions, the court will generally put these properties into the residuary estate of the testator, which can then be divided appropriately. However, this may not fulfill the particular wishes of a testator. In order to do so, some jurisdictions have created what are known as anti-lapse statutes. These statutes act as solutions to maintain the integrity of the will without adding unnecessary complications.

One common measure taken up to follow the general direction of a testament in the instance of a lapse is to simply pass the inheritance among the beneficiary’s relatives. In this sense, it is as if the property from the testator’s estate goes to the beneficiary’s beneficiaries. This passes property to the general relations of the beneficiary, which, although not nearly precise, satisfies the will or trust according to a non-specific interpretation.

The other major solution to problems with lapses is to pass property down to another listed beneficiary. While this is directly and precisely following the direction of the testator, it also requires a testator to list a secondary or even tertiary beneficiary for each property.

If you are concerning forming the future of your estate through a testament, it is essential to have a clearly understandable document that will stand up in court. Contact a wills and trusts attorney today.

For legal advice on how to best divide your estate, contact the Houston wills and trusts attorneys of Garg & Associates, P.C. today.

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