Antilapse Statute Law and Legal Definition

Antilapse statutes do away with the common law practice of holding that gifts made in a will to an heir who predeceases the testator (maker of the will) lapse upon the death of the specified recipient. Most U.S. jurisdictions have enacted antilapse statutes, and many apply only to relatives of the testator. The purpose of enacting such statutes was to change the harsh results of the common law rule, which often operated to disinherit granchildren when the parents predeceased the testator/grandparent. Antilapse statutes may also apply to trusts.

A requirement in the will that the initial transferee survive until a future time that is related to the probate of the transferor’s will or administration of the estate of the transferor generally will override the application of the antilapse statute.