Covered by NYDaily News. Las Vegas man accused of threatening a prominent attorney and making vile remarks.
Covered by New York Times, and other outlets. Fake heiress accused of conning the city’s wealthy, and has an HBO special being made about her.
Accused of stalking Alec Baldwin. The case garnered nationwide attention, with USAToday, NYPost, and other media outlets following it closely.
Juror who prompted calls for new Ghislaine Maxwell trial turns to lawyer who defended Anna Sorokin.
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When a person dies without a will, determining who the next of kin is becomes very important for inheritance purposes. The next of kin refers to the closest living blood relative of the deceased and they have certain rights and responsibilities when it comes to inheriting assets from someone who died intestate (without a will). Understanding next of kin order can help simplify the probate process after someone passes away.
Typically, next of kin refers to the closest living blood relative of the deceased person. This is determined by degree of kinship. The order generally goes:
So if the deceased was married, the spouse would be first in line to inherit assets. If there is no spouse, then any living children would be next in line. And so on down the family tree. State laws determine specifics around next of kin hierarchy and inheritance rights.
In most states, the next of kin is responsible for making funeral arrangements when someone dies without an advance directive or will. They may also serve as the administrator of the estate if no executor was named. This involves tasks like:
Serving as administrator can be a big job. Many next of kin choose to hire an estate attorney to help guide them through the process.
|Potential Next of Kin
|Grandparents, aunts/uncles, cousins
In terms of inheritance rights, the next of kin may be entitled to a share of assets that pass intestate. How much they inherit depends on which other kin are still living. For example, if a person dies with a surviving spouse but no children, the spouse would inherit 100% of the estate under most state laws. However, if there is a spouse and children, the spouse may only get 1/3 while the children divide up 2/3.
One challenge that comes up is locating missing next of kin after someone dies. This often happens when people lose touch with family over the years. As administrator, you may need to do some genealogy research to find missing beneficiaries.
Some tips include:
The administrator is expected to make a reasonable effort to locate missing heirs before the estate can be closed. This protects inheritance rights and ensures assets go to rightful heirs according to state law.
Here are some examples of determining next of kin in different scenarios:
Determining next of kin order is important for inheritance purposes when someone dies without a will. Key takeaways include:
Having a clear understanding of next of kin hierarchy simplifies the probate process and ensures inheritance decisions adhere to state law. Consulting with a local probate attorney is highly recommended for anyone serving as an estate administrator after a family member dies without a will.
Here are some additional resources on next of kin and inheritance:
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