Posthumous handling of an heir’s inheritance

On Behalf of | Mar 7, 2016 | Blog

Nevada residents who are named as an heir in a will or trust might wonder about what will happen if they die before receiving their inheritance. There might be an interest in passing such an inheritance on to other family members, but the ability to do so can be limited. Technically, the testator or grantor in question would be responsible for determining how assets would be distributed in case of the inability of one or more heirs to receive their share of an estate.

If the party leaving an inheritance wants to allow the designated party to make a provision for alternative heirs in case of death, the power to do so can be incorporated into the will or trust. This must be handled according to provisions of the law to ensure that the designation will be legally recognized. The testator or grantor could also provide their own alternative plan in case of the death of an heir. The approach to making such provisions would depend significantly on the goals of the individual creating an estate plan.

Some assets may not allow for a designated beneficiary to pass an inheritance on to a successor. Rather, life insurance policies and retirement accounts often allow for a secondary beneficiary designation. An individual who wants more flexibility with such assets might consider making a living trust the beneficiary of such assets. Similarly, bank accounts typically don’t provide flexibility for the inheritance of such an account. If a joint owner of an account perishes before the primary owner, the owner should make change decisions promptly.

An annual meeting with an estate planning lawyer can be an important step in maintaining current designations of heirs and of one’s wishes. However, an earlier review might be needed if there is a major change such as the death of an heir to address in one’s plans.