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X and Y both buy 10 shares in company C. X leaves the 10 shares, or the net sales thereof, to Y. X dies after having sold the shares and the value of the shares (say £1000) are inherited by Y, who then dies, leaving all Y's shares to two grandchildren, with the remainder of the estate left to Y's children. Do Y's grandchildren have any claim on the £1000? They would if Y had inherited the shares themselves, but what if Y inherited the net proceeds of the sale of the shares from X?

Let me ask a related question:

X and Y jointly own a house. X leaves his interest in the house, or the net proceeds of the sale of the house, to Y. Y bequeaths her interest in the house, or the net proceeds of her interest, to A and B and the remainder of her estate to C. The house is sold, with X's share of the proceeds being £200,000, say. X dies, with Y inheriting the £200,000. Y then dies. Do A and B have any claim on the £200,000 inherited from X or will it be passed to C?

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This is going to depend on the exact wording of Y's will. If that will simply said "I leave all my shares of Company C to my grandchildren" they will not get the money, even though it was derived from the proceeds of such shares, but only such actual shares as Y owned when Y died.

At least if Y does still have some shares of C when Y dies. I doubt that Shares never owned by Y, but sold by X, and the proceeds inherited by Y from X would be covered by a bequest of shares in Y's will without any specific number o date being listed. OIf a specific number of share, or those shares owned by Y on a specific date is what is left in Y's will, that would be a different matter.

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  • It isn't quite as open and shut as that in most jurisdictions which have statutory provisions governing what happens if specific devise fails, but I haven't seen the U.K. specific law. – ohwilleke Apr 8 at 21:37
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    @ohwilleke I have modified my answer to clarify the situation as I understand the question. – David Siegel Apr 8 at 21:43
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Since X has predeceased Y, X’s will is irrelevant

We simply implement Y’s will against their assets at the time of their death - all their shares are divided between the grandchildren and C gets everything else, including the bequest from X. Or in the second case, the proceeds of their share of the house at the time it was sold (Y should really have changed their will after doing this) are divided between the grandchildren and C gets everything else, including the bequest from X.

Incidentally, the drafter of such poorly considered wills should be quietly taken into a paddock and shot so they can do no more damage to grieving people.

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