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Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33730
Experience:  15 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 26 yrs
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What does this statement mean in a Will. This statement is

Customer Question

What does this statement mean in a Will. This statement is in the "In Terrorem" section: I declare that except as otherwise provided in this Will, I have intentionally omitted to provide herein for any of my heirs, including my children and the issue of any deceased child.
This is the basis of my question:
My mothers current will states that her property is to be left to her four children. One of those children is deceased and it's my understanding that in our state of New Mexico that because of the anti-lapse statue that the deceased child's portion is still in effect and thus her children would now be the beneficiaries. However, does the statement in the "In Terrorem" section override the anti-lapse statue and mean that a deceased child is no longer included in the will?
I'm asking because my mother wants to now change her will to state that if one of her children is deceased upon her death that their children become beneficiaries but I thought that the anti-lapse law took care of this but, does the statement regarding a deceased child negate this? Also, the way it's written would the will have to do to probate court to determine who the deceased childs beneficiaries are?
Submitted: 1 month ago via Cornell Legal Info Institute.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 month ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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What does this statement mean in a Will. This statement is in the "In Terrorem" section: I declare that except as otherwise provided in this Will, I have intentionally omitted to provide herein for any of my heirs, including my children and the issue of any deceased child.

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It means that the testator is intentionally disinheriting his family members. This type of clause is put in to ensure that the heirs can't challenge the will as accidentally leaving them out.

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However, does the statement in the "In Terrorem" section override the anti-lapse statue and mean that a deceased child is no longer included in the will?

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Yes, if someone isn't specifically named to inherit in the will, then they don't. And if any child is deceased, that cuts off their rights and their heir's rights to inherit.

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I'm asking because my mother wants to now change her will to state that if one of her children is deceased upon her death that their children become beneficiaries but I thought that the anti-lapse law took care of this but, does the statement regarding a deceased child negate this? Also, the way it's written would the will have to do to probate court to determine who the deceased childs beneficiaries are?

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She needs to remove the In Terrorem clause entirely. Then if a child is deceased prior to mother, the deceased child's children will "step into the deceased child;s shoes" and inherit..

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thanks

Barrister

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