When a parent leaves their estate to two children and one of the children dies before the parent, the legal implications will depend on various factors.
- Per Stirpes: Mississippi follows the per stirpes principle, which means that if one of the children predeceases the parent, that child’s share would pass to their own children (the deceased child’s descendants) in equal shares. Essentially, the grandchildren would inherit their deceased parent’s share. This is true if the parent dies without a will or does not specify in a will an alternate beneficiary for a deceased child.
- Specific Instructions in the Will: It is also possible that the parent’s will or estate plan includes specific instructions for such a situation. For example, the parent may have designated alternate beneficiaries or provided specific instructions on how the deceased child’s share should be distributed. For example, they could provide that the surviving children receive the deceased child’s share.
- If the deceased parent had a spouse, the spouse would generally inherit part of the estate.