After you write a will, what happens if one of your beneficiaries dies before you do? This question pops up from time to time in our FindLaw Answers Wills, Trusts, and Estates forum.
In most states, when a beneficiary dies before the will maker, the gift originally left for the beneficiary may go to the beneficiary's heirs, if the beneficiary is a relative of the will maker. But if the deceased beneficiary isn't related by blood to the will maker, then the gift could potentially lapse -- meaing that the beneficiary's heirs won't be able to receive it.
Fortunately, most states have anti-lapse statutes that allow a beneficiary's heirs to still receive the gift even if the beneficiary dies before the will maker.