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Inheritance issue

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blueguitar

Junior Member
What is the name of your state?
Oregon.

Is there a common rule of thumb regarding inheritance? Our issue is a mother (who lives in Idaho) and two children. One child has power of attorney (lives in Arizona) and helped create the will for the mother. The way it is stated, is that if one of the children dies before the mother passes away, the spouse of the deceased child will still inherit half of the mother's estate, instead of the estate going to the surviving child.

Is there a standard on an issue like this?

Thanks.
 


divgradcurl

Senior Member
blueguitar said:
What is the name of your state?
Oregon.

Is there a common rule of thumb regarding inheritance? Our issue is a mother (who lives in Idaho) and two children. One child has power of attorney (lives in Arizona) and helped create the will for the mother. The way it is stated, is that if one of the children dies before the mother passes away, the spouse of the deceased child will still inherit half of the mother's estate, instead of the estate going to the surviving child.

Is there a standard on an issue like this?

Thanks.
If there is a standard way to deal with a "predeceased heir" -- in other words, a named heir in a will that dies before the testator (the person with the will) -- it is to allow the share allotted to the "predeceased heir" to go to that person's heirs. This is called "per stirpes." However, once someone dies, their spouse is no longer in the chain of per stirpes -- in your case, if one of the children dies, under a per stirpes distribution, the spouse of that child would not receive the child's share. Instead, the child's share would go to their children; if there were no children, then it would go to their parents, if no parents, then to their siblings, etc. But the surviving spouse isn't in the per stirpes universe.

Therefore, if what the mom really wants is to make sure that the in-laws aren't shut out in case the child dies, then you have to specifically put in language giving the surviving spouse(s) the right to "step into" the shoes of a child that predeceases the mom.
 

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