Racine, WI asked in Probate for Wisconsin

Q: My sister-in laws boyfriend left her some money in his will. She passed away prior to him.

The will stipulates that my sister-in-laws daughter (my niece) was to receive these funds when she turns 30 if my sister-in-law were to pass away.

Probate just settled in WI last month and my Niece has now passed away also. with no alternatives listed in the will would my niece's 2 year old son be eligible to collect these funds and would the father of my great nephew need to file anything to request the funds?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Eau Claire, WI
  • Licensed in Wisconsin

A: You will have to examine what the Will says happens if your niece passes away before she reaches age 30. It may say that the gift "lapses" which would mean it goes away if the person dies, or it may say that then the gift gets added back to the corpus of the estate and distributed to the other heirs named in the Will. The answer may also depend on the exact order of the deaths listed above. There should be a section in the Will that address this, and if not, then you will need to rely on the intestate statutes and case law to determine. I recommend discussing with the probate attorney handling the estate, and if there is not one handling the estate, then working with a probate attorney in your area who can examine the Will in question and give you a good answer based on a thorough review of the document. Without examining the Will completely, it is hard to say for sure in this instance, because there are a lot of scenarios that could play out here, and because it was your sister-in-laws boyfriend, and not her husband, therefore the great nephew would not be considered an intestate heir of the boyfriend.

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