Leonardtown, MD asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Maryland

Q: If someone kills their parents & commits suicide & they’re in parents will,does his descendants receive his portion

Would this fall under slayer rule, which would kick him out of the will, therefore his descendants would not inherit his portion?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Potomac, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: It depends on the Survivorship Clause of the Will. The murderer is, of course, excluded, but his heirs are not. If the Will contains a fairly common clause that defines a person as predeceased if they die within 60 days of the testator, then the murderer is considered to have pre-deceased. If the Will contains a clause saying the beneficiary is presumed to die second (which used to be a common estate tax planning strategy), then it passes through the child. Complicating the issue is reality, for, no matter how obvious the murder is, the child is not presumed guilty until proven so by the appropriate standard. The slayer rule attaches to the slayer.

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