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  • Common disaster death

    Consider husband, wife, both of their 2 children, and all 4 of their
    grandchildren go on a cruise, and the ship sinks. Husband and wife
    have wills, leaving all to kids, then grandkids. But with all dead,
    where does the husband and wife's estate go? No living parents, wife
    does have siblings. Residence is Michigan.


  • #2
    Common disaster death

    dul[email protected] (dulieber) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>. ..
    Consider husband, wife, both of their 2 children, and all 4 of their grandchildren go on a cruise, and the ship sinks. Husband and wife have wills, leaving all to kids, then grandkids. But with all dead, where does the husband and wife's estate go? No living parents, wife does have siblings. Residence is Michigan.
    What happens in case of lapse of all named legacies would depend on MI
    law.

    But in general, assuming this is a hypothetical and hasn't already
    happened, the testators (the grandparents, presumably) would be well
    advised to include both (a) a simultaneous death clause, and (b) an
    "ultimate taker" clause, in their wills.

    Under the Simultaneous Death clause, if both the testator and one of
    the intended beneficiaries dies at about the same time, it is assumed
    the beneficiary pre-deceased the testator, so that his share would
    instead go direct to those who would take thru that beneficiary,
    rather than having to be probated twice.

    Under the "ultimate taker" clause, the testators specify what they
    want to happen if all the specific bequests lapse. Often, it will
    just say that the residuary estate should be distributed to those who
    would take under the intestacy laws of (their state) as if they had
    died without a will.

    If that's the case, the grandma's siblings would get it all.

    --
    This posting is for discussion purposes, not professional advice.
    Anything you post on this Newsgroup is public information.
    I am not your lawyer, and you are not my client in any specific legal
    matter.
    For confidential professional advice, consult your own lawyer in a
    private communication.

    Mike Jacobs
    LAW OFFICE OF W. MICHAEL JACOBS
    10440 Little Patuxent Pkwy #300
    Columbia, MD 21044
    (tel) 410-740-5685 (fax) 410-740-4300

    Comment


    • #3
      Common disaster death


      "dulieber" <[email protected]> wrote in message
      news:[email protected]
      Consider husband, wife, both of their 2 children, and all 4 of their grandchildren go on a cruise, and the ship sinks. Husband and wife have wills, leaving all to kids, then grandkids. But with all dead, where does the husband and wife's estate go? No living parents, wife does have siblings. Residence is Michigan.
      Your example may be missing something, but I'm not sure.

      First - were the spouses of the 2 adult children on the cruise? Either they
      weren't on the cruise or these adult children are incestuous <g> since you
      don't list any other possible parents for the grandchildren. Let's assume
      that the spouses of the adult children were on the cruise and were lost as
      well.

      Second - under the circumstances you describe, it is likely that the spouses
      of the adult children would have family that could likely inherit, but let
      us assume that there really is no one available to inherit the estate.

      I can't speak to Michigan, but I would be willing to bet that most states
      treat this in a similar fashion - In Maryland, when there is no one left to
      inherit an estate, I believe the estate goes to the Maryland Department of
      Education.

      Gene E. Utterback, EA


      Comment


      • #4
        Common disaster death

        dulieber wrote:
        Consider husband, wife, both of their 2 children, and all 4 of theirgrandchildren go on a cruise, and the ship sinks. Husband and wifehave wills, leaving all to kids, then grandkids. But with all dead,where does the husband and wife's estate go? No living parents, wifedoes have siblings. Residence is Michigan.
        In most states the law presumes that the wife outlived the husband by a
        few seconds, so all the money would pass to the wife and then to the
        wife's intestate heirs, ie her siblings..

        Comment


        • #5
          Common disaster death

          On 7/10/04 22:16, in article [email protected],
          "Thomas Anantharaman" <[email protected]> wrote:
          In most states the law presumes that the wife outlived the husband by a few seconds, so all the money would pass to the wife and then to the wife's intestate heirs, ie her siblings..
          Any competent lawyer will draft a will with a survival clause or one
          relating to simultaneous death.

          In the case you hypothesize, the biggest asset of the estate will probably
          be the cause of action for wrongful death against the cruise line.

          Other than that, I'm not going to waste time imagining how state laws
          differ. Some law review editor has probably already done the work. Or,
          better, American Law Reports, Annotated. Go to your county law library and
          look up ALR's indexes, and also the Index to Legal Periodicals.

          And when you're done, come back and tell us the result.

          Comment


          • #6
            Common disaster death

            [email protected] (dulieber) wrote in message
            news:<[email protected]>. ..
            Consider husband, wife, both of their 2 children, and all 4 of their grandchildren go on a cruise, and the ship sinks. Husband and wife have wills, leaving all to kids, then grandkids. But with all dead, where does the husband and wife's estate go? No living parents, wife does have siblings. Residence is Michigan.
            Michigan's probate law underwent a complete overhaul in 2000,
            resulting in EPIC (Estate and Protected Individuals Code). I don't
            claim to understand it fully because my Wills class was based on
            pre-2000 law. With that disclaimer in mind...

            The terms of the wills' residuary and anti-lapse clauses will control,
            to the extent that they are not in conflict with EPIC. If those
            clauses say something to the effect of "by law" or "according to the
            rules of intestate succession", then each grandchild's surviving
            parent will receive that grandchild's respective share of the estates
            (unless their parental rights have been terminated).

            The pertinent portions of the Michigan statutes are available at:

            http://www.michiganlegislature.org/m...603&highlight=

            and

            http://www.michiganlegislature.org/m...604&highlight=

            Comment


            • #7
              Common disaster death

              "Gene E. Utterback, EA" <[email protected]> wrote in message
              news:<[email protected]>. ..
              "dulieber" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]
              Consider husband, wife, both of their 2 children, and all 4 of their grandchildren go on a cruise, and the ship sinks. Husband and wife have wills, leaving all to kids, then grandkids. But with all dead, where does the husband and wife's estate go? No living parents, wife does have siblings. Residence is Michigan.
              Your example may be missing something, but I'm not sure. First - were the spouses of the 2 adult children on the cruise? Either they weren't on the cruise or these adult children are incestuous <g> since you don't list any other possible parents for the grandchildren. Let's assume that the spouses of the adult children were on the cruise and were lost as well.
              Interesting point: if they survived, they might inherit through the
              estates of their deceased spouses, the adult children. But if the
              adult children don't inherit, they'd get nothing: there's nothing else
              to put them in the lineup for intestate succession.
              Second - under the circumstances you describe, it is likely that the spouses of the adult children would have family that could likely inherit, but let us assume that there really is no one available to inherit the estate.
              Also depends on whether the adult children inherit. There's an
              argument either way, but I'm leaning toward (see below) the position
              that the adult children don't inherit.
              I can't speak to Michigan, but I would be willing to bet that most states treat this in a similar fashion - In Maryland, when there is no one left to inherit an estate, I believe the estate goes to the Maryland Department of Education.
              Michigan uses the rule that an heir that does not survive the decedent
              by at least 120 hours is deemed to have predeceased the decedent,
              unless applying this rule would cause the estate to pass to the state.
              If this actually applies here, nobody who went down with the ship
              survived long enough to inherit, nor do any of their heirs inherit, so
              the hypothetical in-laws of the adult children are shut out. But
              neither would the state inherit.

              The wife's siblings would get at least so much of the estate as was
              the wife's separate property and her share of marital property. They
              are the highest-priority non-empty class of heirs contemplated by the
              intestate succession law. They would have a good argument that they
              are entitled to the entire estate.

              Surviving aunts, uncles, and cousins of the husband would also have a
              good argument that they are entitled to so much of the estate as was
              the husband's separate property and his share of marital property.
              They would argue that the simultaneous demise precluded the wife's
              succession to the husband's property.

              Michigan's rule on simultaneous demise can be read so as to recommend
              "language dealing explicitly with simultaneous deaths or deaths in a
              common disaster" and possibly to "expressly [indicate] that an
              individual is not required to survive an event, including the death of
              another individual, by any specified period".

              --
              Not a lawyer,

              Chris Green

              Comment


              • #8
                No thanks

                Im sorry, but that's not a topic I really want to think about. That is a sad, sad day
                Denver Immigration Attorney | Denver SEO

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                • #9
                  DutchRudder, please do not reply to old threads. Thanks.
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