and Your Family
Staten Island Intestate Succession
If you do not designate who will receive your property in a last will and testament or in a trust, the state of New York will determine who your heirs will be. In other words, if you do not plan for what will happen to your estate, then you lose the power to decide who will get your property including your real estate, your personal belongs, and your investment and bank accounts. The statute that determines who will get your property is called the intestate succession statute. You lose the power to choose which relatives, friends, or charities will get your property. To learn more the rules of intestate succession and how to avoid intestacy, contact an experienced Staten Island intestate succession lawyer at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates.Assets distribution under intestate succession
Under New York law your spouse and children are entitled to inherit all of your property if you pass away without will. They are considered your next of in. Children are defined as your biological children who you did not adopt out as well as children who you legally adopted. Foster children and step children are not considered next of kin and will not be entitled to inherit under intestate succession.
- Surviving spouse. If you are survived only by a spouse, then he or she gets everything.
- Children. If you are survived by children only, they are entitled to 100% of your estate.
- Surviving spouse and children. If you are survived by both a spouse and children, your spouse gets the first $50,000 of your estate, plus 50% of the remainder of the estate. Your children will receive the other 50% of the estate, divided equally. If a child predeceases you and leaves grandchildren, your grandchildren will be entitled to your child’s intestate share.
- Parents. If you are survived by your parents, but you are not survived by a spouse or children, then your parents will inherit your entire estate.
- Siblings. If you are survived by your siblings, but you are not survived by a spouse, children, or parents then your siblings will inherit your entire estate.
In the absence of a spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, or siblings, then the statute is very detailed as to which of your relatives would be entitled to inherit. In the usual case that a decedent died without a will and does not have any next of kin, then the decedent’s property would escheat to the state.Avoiding intestacy
The best way to avoid intestacy and to retain control over what happens to your property once you pass away is to contact an experienced intestate succession attorney in Staten Island and write a will. Your customized last will and testament will allow you to determine which of your relatives will receive specific parts of your estate. You can decide to remember in your will non-relatives such as close friends. If there is an institution that is important to you such as a charity or college, you can choose to leave them property in your will.
While you can also transfer property to others with a trust, a will is the only way to ensure that any property left in your probate estate will avoid falling into intestacy.Additional advantages of having a will
As an experienced intestate succession attorney in Staten Island will explain, in addition to allowing you to decide how and to whom your assets are distributed upon your death, there are several other advantages to having a will. If you have a valid will you can:
- Make specific provisions related to distributions to minors such as setting up a testamentary trust.
- Name guardians for your minor children.
- Name an executor to manage your estate.
- Disinherit relatives who would otherwise might be your heirs
In order to avoid intestate succession, create a will. Not only will this allow you to retain control over the fate of your property it will also make settling your estate easier for your loved ones. To help with the process of creating a will and other estate documents, contact an experienced intestate succession attorney serving Staten Island at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates. We have decades of experience representing testators, executors, fiduciaries and beneficiaries with a variety of complex estate issues related to drafting wills, establishing trusts, and preparing other estate documents to prepare for the future. Contact us at 800-696-9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: Brooklyn, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County, Bronx, Long Island, and Westchester County.