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  • Writer's picturePaul Peter Nicolai

Will Overrides Anti-Lapse Law

A will provision leaving cash assets to the mother “if she survives me” lapsed when the person leaving the gift was predeceased by her mother.


WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT… Massachusetts, like many other states, has what is known as an anti-lapse statute. These laws generally say that if a gift is left to a person in a covered class, a gift to that person does not lapse, even if the person dies before the person leaves the gift. If the recipient is in the class, the gift goes to the living descendants of that person. If the gift lapses, it goes into the residual portion of the estate and goes to whoever gets it. Here, even though the mother was a member of the class subject to the anti-lapse statute, the court ruled that the language “if she survives me” overrode the anti-lapse statute.



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