Detailing New Jersey’s intestate succession guidelines

When a loved one dies in Bridgewater, it is natural for you and others to have concerns over the distribution of their estate. Your hope is that they stipulated how they wanted their various assets and properties distributed in a will.

Yet what if they did not? Many have come to us here at the Vizzoni Law Firm, L.L.C. wondering if, in such a situation, the potential beneficiaries would determine the distribution of their estates. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

Dying without a will

When someone dies without having prepared a will, the law classifies their estate as “intestate.” New Jersey lawmakers have prepared guidelines on how an estate distribution occurs in this situation. You can review these in Sections 35B:1-4 of New Jersey’s state statutes. They stipulate that if the decedent was your spouse, you would receive their entire estate if they left behind no other descendants and their parents had preceded them in death. You are also entitled to their entire estate if your spouse’s descendants are also yours.

If you or your spouse has a descendant not biologically or legally related to the both of you, your interest in the estate would be the first 25% of its value (not to be less than $50,000 and no more than $200,000) plus one-half of the remaining balance. If there are no descendants but your spouse’s parents are still alive, your initial interest remains the same, and your remaining interest would rise to three-fourths of the estate’s balance.

When there is no surviving spouse

If your loved one did not leave behind a spouse, their intestate estate would pass as follows:

  • Descendants
  • Parents
  • Siblings
  • Grandparents
  • Next of kin
  • Step-children

You can discover more information on estate administration by continuing to explore our site.