Who is next of kin?

Asked almost 5 years ago - Northumberland, PA

My father has just passed away without a will! Who is next of kin? He has 5 children does next of kin fall to oldest child?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Edward Joseph Smeltzer II

    Contributor Level 14

    Answered . Assuming your father was domiciled in PA and PA law will control then his next of kin are his wife (if any) and his five children with the estate being divided 50% to the wife and 50% among the children except in the case where the wife is also the mother of the five children in which case the wife will receive a $30,000 preference befor the 50/50 split. If there is no surviving wife the the children split 100% of the estate. I have not discussed the implications of predeceased children leaving descendants since your facts did not indicate any such situation.

    Very truly yours,

    Ed Smeltzer

    NOTE: This answer was prepared for educational purposes only. By using this site you understand and agree that there is no attorney client relationship or confidentiality between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in the subject area in your jurisdiction and with whom you have an attorney client relationship. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question or omitted from the question.

  2. Stephen J. O'Brien

    Pro

    Contributor Level 14

    Answered . How the estate will pass must consider if a surviving spouse exists and her relationship to the 5 children.

    The Laws of Intestate Succession determine how the estate is distributed that does not go to a surviving spouse or which will be distributed if there is no surviving spouse. See 20 Pa.C.S.A. § 2103.

    1. Children. First, to the children of the decedent.

    2. Parents. If no children.

    3. Brother, Sister, or their Children. If no children and no parents survive the decedent, then the estate will be distributed to the children of the decedent’s parents (the decedent’s siblings and their children).

    4. Grandparents. If no siblings survive the decedent, then the grandparents of the decedent shall receive, one-half to the paternal grandparents and one-half to the maternal grandparents, and their children.

    5. Uncles, Aunts, and their Children and Grandchildren. If no grandparents survive the decedent, the estate is distributed to the decedent’s uncles, aunts, and their children and grandchildren.

    6. Finally, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania if no one mentioned above is alive.

  3. Stuart Rolf Fraenkel

    Contributor Level 7

    Answered . Your father died intestate (without a will) and the laws of intestate succession in the jurisdiction which he is a legal resident will likely control. If for example, your father was a legal resident of PA, you should seek teh advise of a PA probate attorney.

  4. Stuart Rolf Fraenkel

    Contributor Level 7

    Answered . Your father died intestate (without a will) and the laws of intestate succession in the jurisdiction which he is a legal resident will likely control. If for example, your father was a legal resident of PA, you should seek the advise of a PA probate attorney.

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