When an heir dies before receiving an inheritance

An estate plan may provide for the disbursement of assets upon the Ohio testator's death, but the death of an heir could create questions about what to do with that party's share of an inheritance. In some cases, an individual who is slated to inherit certain assets might want to make provision for the handling of such assets in case of their own death. There are some legal avenues for facilitating such action if the testator of the will in question approves.

A testator who does not mind allowing an asset to be designated in case of the intended heir's death could make a provision in the will that permits either a broad or narrow range of options. The decision may depend on the level of concern for how one's assets will be handled or on the relationship with potential successor heirs.

One's best intentions to carefully manage the outcome in the disbursement of assets can still turn out differently than intended because of issues such as probate and legal challenges. While some approaches to estate planning can reduce these risks, it is important to execute the necessary documents legally to minimize potential challenges. Testators cannot express their wishes from the grave, making clarity in legal documents completed during their life crucial.

The failure to review an estate plan regularly could leave some assets at risk for being distributed differently than intended. Deaths, divorces, and births are situations that can impact a will or trust. As such situations occur, it may be advisable to meet with an estate planning lawyer to consider any appropriate changes.

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