Will Substitutes Law and Legal Definition
Will substitutes are functionally indistinguishable from a will because the death beneficiary receives assets at the death of the donor. In addition, will substitutes convey no lifetime benefits (personal enjoyment) to the death beneficiary during the lifetime of the donor. However, they differ in one way. In a will substitute, the title of the asset transfers to the death beneficiary during the lifetime of the donor, whereas in a will there is no asset title transfer before death of the donor. Because the title is transferred before death, will substitutes avoid probate court.