Estate Law

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What is a Next of Kin?

The next of kin will be considered the closest living relative of the deceased individual. He/she is decided on when an individual passes away, that way the deceased’s will and inheritance are taken care of if there is no living spouse or children. He/she 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 rights are will vary from state to state. Knowing the rights and responsibilities 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 it?

This will depend on what is stated within the parents will. If there are no instructions then you would be eligible to inherit.

If a step-grandparent puts the grandchild as next of kin on paper and verbal Power of Attorney, can he/she gain executor of the estate?

Any interested person can petition the court to be appointed the executor of an estate. Priority before you could be given to other family members. 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.

When does the next of kin of a sibling start paying taxes on the estate and how to prove to Medicare and AARP who is handling this?

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.

Will a next of kin to a person living outside the United States have to pay inheritance tax on the life insurance?

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

In California, will the spouse or parent be the next of kin responsible for withdrawing life support?

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. Experts on JustAnswer have the experience to answer all of your questions in an affordable and timely manner. 

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