When there is no Will, what rights do the next of kin have to the deceased’s estate?

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When there is no Will, what rights do the next of kin have to the deceased’s estate?

My daughters father recetnly passed. He had no Will. She is the next of kin since he never remarried. He did, however, live with his girlfriend. She is denying his kids access to his personal property. She has even started selling some of his stuff. What rights does my daughter have and what can she do?

Asked on August 10, 2012 under Estate Planning, Indiana

Answers:

Brad Micklin / The Micklin Law Group

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Most states have a law called an intestate statutes. The statute defines how a person's property passes to their heirs if there is no will.  Typically, the statute provides that the property will be equally divided by the decedent's living parents and children.

I do not know of any state that provides any inheritance rights to a girlfriend absent any legal contract, marriage, whether common law or statutory.

In this case, you need to file for administration, which is a term for person handling an wstate that does not have a will, and an immediate order to show cause seeking injunctive relief prohibiting the girlfriend from accessing the property or any valuables yearns decedent.

You should speak with an attorney well-versed in this area immediately.

Brad Micklin, ESQ.
187 Washington Ave.
Nutley, NJ 07110
973 – 562 – 0100
[email protected]


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