Hanford, CA asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for California

Q: What happens if the grantee dies before the grantor?

1 Lawyer Answer
Julie King
Julie King
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Monterey, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: I'm not sure what type of legal document you have, so it is hard to answer your question. I'll guess that you are asking what happens when a beneficiary of a trust passes away before the settlor (the person who sets up the trust.) In that case -- as with most situations -- the trust document should say what happens in that case. In many trusts, there will be a provision saying either: (1) the gift would go to the beneficiaries' children ("issue"); or (2) the gift is simply removed from the list of gifts ("lapses") and the gift goes back into the trust to be distributed to the remaining beneficiaries. I'm sorry to say that a lawyer would have to read your document to assist you any further. Sorry about that!

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