If a beneficiary of your estate plan passes away, you have options. The state of New York has put several laws in place that target issues like this. Continue reading to learn a bit more, and also reach out to our firm today to speak with one of our experienced New York estate planning attorneys to discuss the specifics of your case and how we can help you. At The Lauterbach Law Firm, you and your loved ones can rest easy knowing that your future is in great hands.

What is the role of a beneficiary in New York?

When a creator of an estate plan designates someone to receive an inheritance of theirs upon their passing, he or she will be categorized as a beneficiary. It is essential to see that beneficiaries play a big role in the building blocks of an estate plan, and many times are the reason why an individual will create an estate plan to begin with.

What is the anti-lapse statute?

For centuries, there have been issues regarding inheritances to deceased individuals. In the past, a gift could not be given to one who was deceased. However, New York State law has acknowledged this issue and has passed the “anti-lapse” statute. This rule was created to balance the wishes of the testator or grantor with the obligation to pass on assets fairly.

To elaborate further, under New York law, if the beneficiary dies while the testator is alive, then the inheritance instead goes to the deceased’s “issue,” which refers to the children or grandchildren of that person.

It is important to understand that there is a significant caveat to this anti-lapse rule. The New York law only applies to the testator’s own issue or their siblings. This means that if a gift is made to the testator’s friend, and the friend is not alive at the time, then the friend’s own children are not permitted to take advantage of the anti-lapse statute.

These statutes can be confusing, which is why if you have any questions or concerns about what will happen to a trust or will if a beneficiary dies, it is in your best interest to reach out to our skilled attorneys today at The Lauterbach Law Firm. With an experienced attorney on your side, you can ensure that you and your loved ones’ futures will be protected.

Contact our Firm

The Lauterbach Law Firm is proud to serve clients throughout Rockland County who are faced with legal matters related to estate planning, real estate, foreclosure defense, landlord-tenant law, business law, and criminal defense. If you require the services of an experienced team of attorneys, contact The Lauterbach Law Firm today to schedule a consultation.