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The Lasts Will & Testament

When it comes to a Last Will and Testament, it only controls what ends up in probate. This review of a Reddit thread in r/estateplanning makes it clear that a Will does NOT control everything.

In this post, Jeff is reacting to a post from Reddit R/Estate Planning. This is coming down to a big fundamental understanding of what a Will controls. While I can only speculate on the actual outcome, based on the discussion and the input from the attornies, it sounds like the person who is posting it isn’t really clear on this one point.

“My family member mentioned his child and siblings by name but he also put in his Will a part that says, ‘If any individual designated as a beneficiary under this Will fails to survive me by One Hundred Eighty days, then for all purposes of this Will that person shall be deemed to have predeceased me.’ One of the beneficiaries passed away a few weeks after the Whill holder and his beneficiary claimed his portion of the estate. Does this prove it shouldn’t go to them and is there something that can be done about it?”

So that is the first post, but as you are going to see very quickly it gets more confusing.

“Let me see if I got this. Alex died, and his Will named Bobby as a beneficiary. But then Bobby died within that 180 days. So you want to know if Bobby’s beneficiary (Charlie) can get part of Alex’s estate. Is all that correct?

I would think not. Anything in Bobby’s will is irrelevant as far as Alex’s estate goes.”

So we are talking about Bobby having a will.

The Poster comes back with “Yes essentially. The financial adviser over Alex’s assets wrote up paperwork and granted Bobby’s beneficiary Bobby’s part of Alex’s estate but if I’m understanding the Will correctly… that’s not what it’s legally giving permission for.”

Okay, so the financial advisor over the account is giving it to someone else. Then it’s the financial institution that has a hold of it, not the court, which means it’s not in probate. It’s the financial account that’s going to that next person’s beneficiary. So it’s not the person who died who said I want half to go to my child and I want the other half to go to my siblings. And in their Will, they put that if anybody passes on within 180 days then their share is treated as if they pre-deceased them.

Two big issues here. To find out more about this situation please listen to my video here.

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