lapse

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary

Under a will, the failure of a gift of property. A gift lapses when the beneficiary dies before the person who made the will, and no alternate has been named. Some states have antilapse statutes, which prevent gifts to relatives of the deceased person from lapsing unless the relative has no heirs of his or her own. A lapsed gift becomes part of the residuary estate.

Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.