One of the most repeated pieces of estate planning advice is to routinely review and update estate planning documents. It is particularly important to revise estate planning documents following major life changes or if a beneficiary under a will passes away before the testator does. If a person fails to make the necessary estate planning changes, there is a substantial risk that the gift will “lapse” and the property will end up being transferred to others in what might be an undesirable manner.
What Does it Mean if a Gift Lapses
If a gift lapses, this means that it cannot be transferred as provided under the terms of a will. One way in which New York law attempts to deal with lapsed gifts is through anti-lapse statutes. New York’s anti-lapse statute states that if an individual who would have received property under another person’s will passes away before the testator, the gift will pass to the deceased individual’s children.
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