When someone passes away, who are the heirs of a deceased person? This is a question that we hear sometimes, and the answer is in your hands if you are proactive. We provide details in this post.
Intestacy in Connecticut
As we have touched upon at times, the studies that are conducted to gauge the estate planning preparedness of adults consistently reach the same conclusions. About two thirds of people do not have plans in place, and over half of people over the age of 55 are completely unprepared.
If you are one of these folks when you pass away, you will die intestate. Under those circumstances, the probate court will provide supervision during the estate administration process. They will appoint an administrator to complete the hands-on tasks.
With regard to the heirs of a deceased person that dies intestate, the beneficiaries are determined based on the intestate succession laws of the state of Connecticut. If you die intestate with children and no spouse, your children will be the sole inheritors of your property.
You may assume that the reverse arrangement is true if you have a spouse with no children, but this is not the case in Connecticut. For instance, let’s say that you are married, and you pass away while your mother is still living.
Your spouse would inherit all of the community property, and they would receive the first $100,000 of the separate property, and 75 percent of the remainder. Under this example, your mother would inherit the remainder of the intestate separate property.
These are a couple of scenarios that can exist, but each and every one of them is spelled out in the Connecticut statutes that provide estate administration guidelines.
In rare cases, someone will pass away intestate with no living relatives at all. Under these circumstances, the court will try to locate a next of kin. If no one can be found, the state will absorb the resources under escheatment laws.
A notable case unfolded in New York a number of years ago involving a multimillionaire Holocaust survivor named Roman Blum. He was 97 at the time of his death, and he was in possession of $40 million worth of assets.
Some people came forward over the years, but the court did not recognize their claims. This is an extreme case, but this is the end result if you have no estate plan and no living relatives.
Wills and Trusts
People that allow the state to determine how their assets are distributed are taking chances unnecessarily. You can decide exactly how your estate will be distributed after you are gone if you name beneficiaries in a will or trust.
Obviously, most people are going to leave all or most of their assets to their children. However, you are not required to make any particular decision. At the end of the day, it is entirely up to you.
This being stated, sometimes a disinheritance can cause a family firestorm that includes an estate challenge. Anyone that is considering such an action should think long and hard about the potential fallout.
Attend an Estate Planning Seminar!
You found your way to this website because you are looking for information about estate planning and elder law. This is the right place, because we have a treasure trove of written resources that you can access free of charge.
Plus, we go the extra mile to provide educational opportunities at our estate planning seminars. There is no admission charge, and you can visit our seminar page to see the dates and obtain more information.
Need Help Now?
If you are ready to take the final step and work with a Glastonbury or Westport, CT estate planning lawyer to develop your plan, today’s a good day for action. You can send us a message to request a consultation appointment, and we can be reached by phone at 860-548-1000.
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