The death of a loved one is the hardest thing anyone can endure. While understandably, you want to just move on as soon as possible, you must take care of business first. If your loved one died intestate, meaning he or she did not draft a valid and enforceable will in his or her lifetime, you are most likely worried about what will happen to his or her assets. If you find yourself in this situation, please read on to learn more about intestate law in New York:

What happens if someone dies intestate in New York?

  • If the decedent, meaning the person who died had a spouse but no descendants, the spouse will inherit everything
  • If the decedent had children, but no spouse, the children will inherit everything
  • If the decedent 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 decedent had siblings but no parents, spouse, or descendants, the siblings will inherit everything
  • If the decedent has parents, but no spouse or descendants, the parents will inherit everything
  • Half-relatives, such as your brother with whom you share a mother, but not a father will have the same right to your inheritance as a sibling with whom you share both parents

What are children entitled to if a parent dies intestate?

The most important factor in calculating a child’s right to inheritance is, rather obviously, whether he or she is legally considered the decedent’s child. However, there are certain situations in which a child’s right to inheritance is not entirely clear. Some of those scenarios are as follows:

  • Children you conceived but were born after your death will receive a share of your inheritance if the child was in utero within two years of your death or was born within three years of it
  • Children you placed for adoption and were legally adopted are not entitled to a share.
  • Foster children and stepchildren that you never legally adopted will not automatically receive a share, though this does not mean they cannot
  • Children born through artificial insemination will receive a share of your inheritance, as long as you agreed to the use of your genetic material after your death, seven years before your death
  • Grandchildren will only receive a share of your inheritance if your son or daughter is not alive to receive it
  • Children you adopted are entitled to your inheritance just as biological children are

Contact our experienced Rockland County firm

The Lauterbach Law Firm is proud to serve clients throughout Rockland County who are faced with legal matters related to estate planning, real estate, foreclosure defense, landlord-tenant law, business law, and criminal defense. If you require the services of an experienced team of attorneys, contact The Lauterbach Law Firm today to schedule a consultation.