Lapsed Gift Law and Legal Definition

Lapsed gift means a gift in which a person in whose favor a will was created dies before the death of a testator. Lapsed gift is an extinguished gift.

An example for state statute referring to lapsed gift is Rev. Code Wash. (ARCW) § 11.12.120. It lays down the procedure and proof applicable to lapsed gift. If a gift lapses it falls into the residue of the estate and will be distributed according to the residuary clause of the will. If there is no residuary clause it will be distributed according to the laws of descent and distribution.

If the will gives the residue to two or more persons, the share of a person who dies before the testator passes to the other person or persons receiving the residue, in proportion to the interest of each in the remaining part of the residue. If something is otherwise provided, those specifically provided will take effect.