One of the hardest experiences a person can go through is losing a loved one. To make matters worse, there are various matters that must be handled soon after the fact as well. When a loved one dies without a valid will, it is known as dying intestate. In these situations, it can be worrisome trying to figure out what happens to their assets. If you are facing a situation such as this, it is important to reach out to an experienced New York estate planning attorney for assistance during this time.
What Happens When Someone Dies Intestate?
When a person dies intestate in New York, their assets can be controlled by the state. They are then distributed based on a succession schedule. This is as follows:
- If the deceased had a spouse but no descendants, the spouse will inherit everything
- If the deceased had children, but no spouse, the children will inherit everything
- If the deceased had both a spouse and descendants, the spouse will inherit the first $50,000 of the intestate property and one half of the balance, while the descendants will inherit all that’s left
- If the deceased had siblings but no parents, spouse, or descendants, the siblings will inherit everything
- If the deceased has parents, but no spouse or descendants, the parents will inherit everything
- Half-relatives, such as a brother with a shared mother but not a father, will have the same right to the inheritance as a sibling with whom share both parents
What are Children Entitled to if a Parent Dies Intestate?
When determining a child’s right to inheritance after a parent dies, it must be established that the individual is a legal child of the deceased. There are several situations in which a child’s right to inheritance is not clear such as:
- Children conceived before the death but born after can receive a share of the inheritance if the child was in utero within two years of the death or was born within three years of it
- Children placed for adoption and were legally adopted are not entitled to a share
- Foster children and stepchildren that were never legally adopted will not automatically receive a share, though this does not mean they cannot overall
- Children born through artificial insemination will receive a share of the inheritance, as long as the deceased agreed to the use of their genetic material after their death seven years before it happens
- Grandchildren will only receive a share of the inheritance if the deceased’s son or daughter is not alive to receive it
- Adopted children are entitled to inheritance just as biological children are
Contact our Firm
If you or a loved one needs assistance creating an estate plan and wish to speak with an experienced attorney, contact the Law Office of Andres D. Gil, PLLC today.