Does the death of a beneficiary complicate probate?

A number of problems could arise when trying to settle someone's estate. Acting as an executor can be a complex role, and any Ohio resident acting in this capacity may have questions when an unexpected event happens during the probate process. For example, an executor may not know what to do if a beneficiary dies before the process is completed.

In most cases, this type of incident is not overly complicated to address. If a beneficiary is in line to acquire assets from an estate but the assets have not yet been distributed, those assets may not go back to the original estate. Instead, the intended assets would pass to the estate of the deceased beneficiary. This is particularly true if the beneficiary was named to receive a specific asset or a specific amount of money.

Essentially, the bequest would follow intestate laws when passing into the beneficiary's remaining estate, especially if the beneficiary did not have a will of his or her own before passing. However, if the bequest was not a specific asset to a specific person, the assets may remain with the original estate for distribution among other beneficiaries. For instance, a person may have wanted his or her assets distributed evenly among surviving children, and if one of those children dies before the distribution, his or her share would likely be split evenly among the other surviving children.

Though the death of a beneficiary can throw a wrench in the probate process, it is not something that is necessarily difficult to address. However, it is important that the executor has the right information on whether the assets should pass to the beneficiary's estate or be distributed among other beneficiaries. Fortunately, experienced Ohio attorneys can help address this and other complications that arise during the process.

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