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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...
characters left:
11 Estate Lawyers are Online Now

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Estate Lawyers are online & ready to help you now

Thomas McJD
Attorney
Satisfied Customers: 3076
Wills, Trusts, Probate & other Estate Matters
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Attorney
Satisfied Customers: 3781
Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses.
Barrister
Attorney
Satisfied Customers: 2188
13 yrs estate law, real estate. Wills/Trusts/Probate

Recent Next of Kin Questions

  • My father passed in early October in Pinellas County Florida He

    My father passed in early October in Pinellas County Florida
    He has a Revocable Trust and a Will
    He also has a prenuptial agreement stating that: all property is separate, mutual release of claims during marriage or divorce, Mutual release of claims in the event of death.
    “In the event one parties dies, the survivor waives and releases all claims which he or she may have by reason of the marriage against the separate property of the deceased party, and against one-half interest of the deceased party in joint property owned without right of survivorship. This waiver includes, but not by way of limitation, rights of dower, curtsey, homestead, inheritance, descent and distribution, the right to elect against the other party’s Will, and all claims as Widow or widower, heir, distributes, survivor or next of kin, subject to the provisions set forth in the Agreement regardless of financial condition of either party at the time of death. This provision shall be effective under the present or future laws of the Commonwealth of Kentucky or any other jurisdiction, and includes but is not limited to waiver of:
    o The right to elect to take against any present or future Last Will and testament or codicil of the other party
    o The right to take his or her intestate share in the other party’s estate.
    o The right, if any, to act as executor or executrix or administrator or administratix of the other party’s estate.
    This provision is intended to and shall serve as a waiver and release of each party’s right of election in accordance with the requirements of the Kentucky Revised Statutes and any law amedatory thereof or supplemental or similar thereto.”
    All accounts were separate, nothing had a joint status. Her name is ***** ***** the deed to the house. The deed is in the name of his trust.
    His will states to liquidate all and put into the trust, there is no mention of his spouse in the will.
    Florida law has a “Receiving a life estate in the property means that while the surviving spouse has the right to live in the property for his or her remaining lifetime, it also means that the surviving spouse has to pay all of the property taxes and insurance to maintain the residence. In addition, the surviving spouse cannot force the children to sell the property, and the children cannot force the spouse to sell the property. Today there are two ways around this strict rule:
    You and your spouse can enter into a prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement where the spouse who does not own the property waives all of his or her rights to the protected homestead. This will allow the owner of the homestead to leave the property to whomever he or she wants.
    Effective October 1, 2010, the surviving spouse who is initially stuck with a life estate in the homestead can elect within a limited amount of time after the deceased spouse's death to divide the property so that the spouse will receive one-half and the children of the deceased spouse will equally divide the other half.”
    The personal representative at this point in time is allowing his wife to stay in the house and paying the bills for her to do so. His concern is that when it comes time to sell the house she will not sign the deed and we will not be able to sell it. What rights do we have, how can we get her out of the house? She had an attorney which forced us into probate until he found out about the prenup, he no longer represents her.
  • what can I do if five siblings are in the process of claiming assets o

    what can I do if five siblings are in the process of claiming assets of a brother that died without a will but they are excluding me and one more brother.
  • My father passed away on September 1st without a will. He

    My father passed away on September 1st without a will. He was divorced from his estranged wife more than 2-1/2 years at the time of his death, but still resided in the home they shared for more than 45 years. Who is the legal next of kin - the ex-wife or his 4 surviving children?
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