How do wills that skip generations work?

I think I am in line to some inheiritance, but don’t know who makes the decisions on distribution. Is there a place where I can view pertinant wills online? Does a will specify dollar amounts? Does a will, or the law, specify the time a distribution should occur? What happens to the money between probate and distribution when it skips generations?

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5 Responses to “How do wills that skip generations work?”

  1. NY & NJ lawyer Says:

    If you are an heir to an estate (meaning you are named as a beneficiary in the will) or if you are a distributee (meaning if there is no will, you inherit), you should receive notice of the fact that a will has been presented for probate. Once presented for probate the will is filed with the Court and you can go to the Court and view/read the will. (In NY, the notice is called a Citation.)

    If you are named in the will, either by name or by position (such as my granddaughter), you can then read the will to see what rights you have and when those rights come into play. You may have rights to inherit directly or only after the happening of a certain event, such as someone else’s passing. You should be aware that there are some very technical aspects to estate distributions, including estate tax (both state and federal, although many have recently been repealed), the Rule against perpetuities, life estates, shifting executory interests, springing executory interests, etc. Some of these aspects are so confusing that attorneys frequently don’t fully understand them. So, even if you think you understand the will, you should consult a good attorney so you fully understand what your rights are.

    As far as when a distribution takes place, the fiduciariy under a will (the executor) is charged with acting reasonably and should distribute the assets in a reasonably prudent time manner. Some things can be done in a metter of days, others take more time to properly liquidate and distribute. In any event, the executor should not be "sitting on" the assetts, but should be trying to move them along to whomever they are bequested to.

  2. koipu Says:

    its all outlined in the specific will which is not made public until after it’s been disbursed. and even then it’s not publicly filed. just made public to the concerned parties.

  3. aint_no_stoppin_us Says:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generation-skipping_transfer_tax

  4. Wizzard2 Says:

    If the person has not died, there is no way to see it. After death, when it is filed for probate it can be seen in the Court file. If you are someone who would inherit without a will, you will be given notice of the filing. Money in the estate before distribution sits in whatever accounts there were and the exacutor has control.

  5. Brian M Says:

    First you should know if you are in line for some inheritance. If you are an heir you should have been notified by the executor of the estate within 30 days of the deceases passing. By skipping generations I can only presume that you are not a direct heir for the person bequeathing the money but an heir of one of the bequeathed who is pre deceased. In that case the notification goes to the executor of the pre deceased heir is responsible for notification and processing. If you are or even suspect you might be an heir you have a right to contact the executor(s) and ask for copies of the will(s). The law only specifies distribution should be prudent and reasonable. Distribution can be delayed pending probate, taxes, contesting, settlement of debts and other legal matters that may put any or all of the estate in doubt. Essentially it is at the will of the executor, provided they do not act contrary to the wishes of the deceased. The courts become the final resort to any disputes. Money in probate can be invested at the discretion of the executor but the risk must be extremely low and the proceeds to benefit the estate. Essentially the money remains in trust.