When someone dies without a will or intestate, the situation frequently becomes complicated. Someone’s intentions will only be honored by the court if they were written down and appropriately witnessed. In other words, if they had written a will. Estate Lawyers Nassau County NY have seen those left behind struggling to deal with the unintended consequences after their loved one died without a will.
Today it’s not at all unusual for a family to consist of spouses who had been previously married, biological children and stepchildren on one or both sides. It would be easy to put off estate planning.
Jim and Alice are married, living in Jim’s house worth $500,000. They have one biological child and Alice’s two children from her former marriage. Jim has not legally adopted his stepchildren, but loves them deeply. Jim dies suddenly with no will.
In New York, when someone dies intestate, the spouse will inherit the first $50,000 of the intestate property as well as 50% of the balance. Children or other descendants inherit the rest.
How New York Law Would Divide Jim’s Property
This is what could happen when there is no will.
If Jim had added Alice’s name to the deed as a joint tenant with right of survivorship, Alice would automatically inherit the house. This would also apply if Alice owned vehicles or bank accounts jointly with Jim.
If the only name on the house deed was Jim’s, NY law would apply. For the $500,000 home, Alice would inherit the first $50,000 plus $225,000 (1/2 of $450,000). Alice and Jim’s biological child would inherit $225,000. Other intestate property would also be split between Alice and the biological child. Jim’s stepchildren would inherit nothing since he never legally adopted them. Browse website for more information.
If Jim had legally adopted Alice’s two children, they would then inherit equally with Jim’s biological child.
In real life, the situation would be considerably more complex. Alice would be spending a lot of time with Estate Lawyers Nassau County NY trying to resolve the problems. If Jim had left property in a trust in addition to writing a will, life would have been much easier for Alice and the children.
At Business name, you will find experienced Estate Lawyers Nassau County NY. Estate planning is a gift given to those you love the most. Schedule an appointment to discuss your options.
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