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Next of Kin Laws

What is a next of kin?

The next of kin will be considered the closest living relative of the deceased individual. The next of kin is decided on when an individual passes away, that way the deceased’s will and inheritance is taken care of if there is no living spouse or children. A next of kin can also have the responsibility and right to make decisions about any medical decisions if the individual is incapable of doing it themselves or even make funeral decisions. The laws pertaining as to what the next of kin’s rights will vary from state to state. Knowing the rights and responsibilities for the next of kin is very important. Read below where Experts have answered many questions relating to next of kin questions.

What is an individual’s chances of receiving life insurance from a parent when both siblings have filled out a claim for the life insurance?

In many cases, when a parent is deceased, the children may have question regarding who will receive a parent’s estate or life insurance. The answer to these questions will all depend on what is stated within the parents will. If the will has provisions for what to do with all assets that are not left to individuals then you may not have a case. If there are no such instructions then you would be eligible to inherit.

If a step grandparent has left their grandchild as “next of kin” on their Veterans paperwork and has given them verbal Power of Attorney before their death, can this individual use this to become executor of the step grandparent’s estate and how long will this take?

Any interested person can petition the court to be appointed executor of an estate. Priority before you could be given to several people. However, if there are no other interested blood relatives, then you could be appointed. As for how long this takes, letters of administration can be issued in about 30-45 days.

If a sibling has passed away and I am next of kin and beneficiary of their estate including life insurance and CD’s, as the beneficiary when would I have to pay taxes on them, if at all? Also, when talking to Medicare and AARP how do I prove that I am handling the estate?

You would be responsible for the taxes from the date of your sibling’s death. As for proving that you are handling the deceased estate, you can use a “small estate affidavit” to prove your authority as long as the estate is valued under $100,000. However, if some institutions refuse to acknowledge the authority of the affidavit you will be forced to petition the probate court for letters of administration.

I am next of kin to a person living outside the United States who is now deceased. Is there an inheritance tax on their life insurance?

In some cases, when dealing with life insurance, the life insurance proceeds are not subject to inheritance tax.

In California who is my next of kin when it comes to withdrawing life support? Would this be the individuals spouse or parent?

In this case the laws regarding next of kin can vary from state to state. In California your spouse would have the legal right to make those decisions unless you designate someone else by signing an advance directive.

When you are next of kin you have already lost someone dear to you. The added stress of an estate can be overwhelming. Being well informed can often help relieve this stress. When dealing with next of kin situations, this can cause many questions such as to who is next of kin and what are the next of kin rights. These questions and many more can be answered by the thousands of Experts.

Ask an Estate Lawyer

Thomas McJD
Thomas McJD, Attorney
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 3170
Experience:  Wills, Trusts, Probate & other Estate Matters
19305272
Type Your Estate Law Question Here...
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Recent Next of Kin Questions

  • My Father passed in Calif. he had a will and a Trust.He entered

    My Father passed in Calif. he had a will and a Trust.
    He entered into a Domestic Partnership agreement in 2005. In 2005 the DP had little power I am told. Basically, hospital visitation but, no community property etc.
    However, my father's Domestic Partner assumed what I believe were my rights and obligations following my father's passing. Since the 2005 Domestic Partnership is so weak. I believe that I was in fact next of kin and therefore should have been the one making decissions about wheather to have an autopsy and when and where to be creamated. I suspect my father's Domestic Partner of foul play in the death of my father. I believe he assumed my rights to avoid detection. There are numerious other clues, but, probably not enough for him to be arressted.
    Did he take my rights from me in handleiing these arragements after my father passed? If he did violate my rights, what recourse do I have?
  • My cousin allegedly drew up our uncle's Will using a computer

    My cousin allegedly drew up our uncle's Will using a computer
  • I have been disinherited by my mother

    I believe I have been disinherited by my mother--however I have a document in my possession given to me by her (my mother) written in her own hand, addressed to her lifelong mentor and best friend; specifically stating that I am (her son) to receive **** amount of money from her Estate upon her demise. Do I have a legal claim?

    I'm concerned because over the years she has become a religious Zealot and has began donating large portions of her Estate to the Church.I can't do anything-my mother is 82 and her mental capacity is diminishing,she is surrounded by a group of people who keep her secret from me.I'm afraid they will keep her funeral from me!

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