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Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 33702
Experience:  15 yrs estate law, real estate. Wills/Trusts/Probate
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My grandmother recently passed and has a will that states her

Customer Question

My grandmother recently passed and has a will that states her estate shall be divided equally between the surviving children. My father is one of 5 of her children but he is deceased. I did some research and found out that the state of Arkansas's law says if the surviving child of the estate is deceased then the children of the deceased will be entitled to the deceased's share of the inheritance. Is this true? I live in Houston so I am unsure of what I should do also the family is not on good terms so I am trying to figure this out without asking them.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.
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I did some research and found out that the state of Arkansas's law says if the surviving child of the estate is deceased then the children of the deceased will be entitled to the deceased's share of the inheritance. Is this true? I
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This is generally true unless the testator has a "survivorship clause" in the will that specifically states that an heir has to outlive the testator in order to inherit. If there is no survivorship clause, then the grandchildren would "step into the shoes" of the parent and inherit their portion.
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So here if she has such a clause in her will, then only her children that are living when she passes would inherit her estate. Any children who passed before the testator would not be included in any distribution.
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I would suggest requesting a copy of the will to see if that particular survivorship clause is present. If the executor won't provide a copy, you can obtain one from the probate court directly once the probate case is opened and the will is filed with the court because it then becomes a public record.
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But if it does, then when father passed, his rights to inherit would have extinguished.
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I am very sorry that I don’t have better news, but please understand that I do have an ethical and professional obligation to provide customers with legally correct answers based on my knowledge and experience, even when I know the answer doesn’t make the customer happy...
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thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you very much. The response didn't make me unhappy by any means at all. I just have to wait and see a copy of the will to see if that clause is stated in the will. If it is not, being I live in a different state then what are the proper steps to take next?
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
You are very welcome. If that clause is not in the will, then you would automatically be a beneficiary of father's portion of the estate. The executor of the estate would have a legal duty to contact you and notify you of your status as a beneficiary. So if you are a beneficiary, the executor will contact you because he has a legal and fiduciary duty to notify all "interested parties" of their status..
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As an aside, survivorship clauses are not very common unless there is something like a new wife or husband the the child married that the testator doesn't like and no grandchildren and wants to make sure that the wife doesn't inherit from their estate..
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thanks
Barrister

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