Next of kin

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Next of kin

Who is the legal next of kin of a deceased person? If it is a child, does the
child have to be of legal age to received the deceased’s belongings?

Asked on February 16, 2018 under Estate Planning, Idaho

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

A beneficiary is the person who inherits under the terms of a Will. The next of kin or heir is the person who inherits in a situation in which there is no Will. If the next of kin s a child (i.e. someone under the gae of 18), then in such a case their inheirtance is put into a Trust until they reach legal age; the trustee would be a parent or legal guardian (as appointed by the probate court).

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

We assume there is no will: if there is a will, the will designates who inherits what.
In the listed state (Idaho), when there is no will, if there is no living spouse when someone passes, the child or children will inherit everything: if more than one child, the children share equally.
If there was a living spouse, he or she inherits all the community property (to oversimplify: property, money, etc. acquired during marriage, other than from inheritance or outright gifts to one spouse) and 1/2 the separate property (that is, 1/2 of everything that is not community property). The children inherit the other 1/2 of separate property.
If a child is a minor (less than 18), his/her inheritance will be put in trust for him/her and someone designated as trustee to manage it; this would be a surviving parent or legal guardian, if any, or could be someone appointed by the court.


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