Passing Assets to Heirs

When you begin to craft your will it is important to determine whether want your assets to pass to the children of the named heirs should they die prematurely. There is a concept that is used when drafting a will or trust which is known as a per stirpes distribution. This means that your heir has predeceased you and that their share will be divided equally among their surviving children. If no provision is made for the untimely death of an heir, there is a likelihood that the deceased party's share will pass to the remaining named beneficiaries in the will while denying their children any inheritance.

The way to design the disposition in your will is to say that you are leaving your home to your three children or their descendants per stirpes. In this way, you can be assured that if any one of your children dies that the child’s one-third share will pass to their children on an equal basis. There is another concept known as a per capita distribution. In this situation the child’s heirs would be elevated to a position of equal status with the two surviving children. If the deceased child had two children, then they would join the remaining children who survive and split the entire value of the home into four equal shares.

When drafting a new will or revising the old one, it is important to determine how you would like to treat a disposition from your estate to that of a deceased child. There are numerous options available to you. You should thoroughly review these options with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney.


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