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Right of Representation

Right of representation means that the child or children of a deceased beneficiary (who dies before the will holder or testator) may take the place of the deceased beneficiary and receive their portion of the estate. In order for this to take place, a testator (the one who has the will) must clearly state that the will is to be distributed by right of representation. If this isn't clearly stated in the will, the estate will be handled according to the law of the state. Take a look at the right of representation questions below that have been answered by an Expert.

What is the exact definition of with right of representation for the state of MA for last year and for the new law as of this year 2012?

Right of representation (also known as Per Stirpes) is a stipulation in a will that provides for the children of a beneficiary who has died before a testator (will holder) to take the place of the beneficiary in the distribution of the will. Right of representation must be written in a will in order to be honored at the time of distribution.

If a parent has died, how would the individual’s estate be divided between biological children, spouse of 15 years, and step child? How does right of representation work is this case?

If the parent died and there is no will, the spouse will receive half of the marital property and the remainder of the marital estate will be equally divided between the biological children.

As for any non marital property, this property would be divided equally between the spouse and the biological children. For example; if there are 3 biological children, the spouse will get 1/4 and each biological child will get 1/4 of the non marital estate. Without a will, the step child isn't entitled to any of the estate.

In the state of main if an individual died and asked for a certain individual to not receive any of their estate, how would the assets be divided between a parent and 4 other siblings when no will is involved?

If the individual wasn't married and had no children, only the parent would receive the inheritance. If the parent were deceased, the inheritance would then go to the individual’s siblings. This means all of the siblings would receive an equal portion of the individual’s estate, and there can be no exclusions, regardless of the individual’s wishes. Without a will stating that one sibling was to get nothing, you wouldn't be able to exclude that individual out of an inheritance.

If the executor of an estate passes away, does the share and share a like law enable other family members (uncles/aunts) to be able to use the Share and Share A Like Law and divide the property to keep the actual heirs of the will from receiving assets?

If there is no mention of Share and Share Alike in the will, the uncles cannot go by the share and share a like rule which limits heirs to those heirs who are living. Texas Probate Code 68 states; if an heir dies before the testator, then their descendents take the heir's share unless the will specifically states "Share and Share Alike". This means the individual would take the executor’s place as far as inheritance. The individual’s uncle's attorney must not know about the TX Probate Code or he/she is trying to snowball you.

Many people are unaware of their rights when a family member dies. Many times, people are cheated out of an inheritance because no one has informed them of their legal right of representation. If you are facing a similar situation and would like to learn more about right of representation, you should ask an Expert for assistance.
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