Kinship Law: Post-deceased next of kin

Kinship law is the process of claiming unclaimed sums of money for relatives of people who died (decedents) both without a will and close living relatives. If no relatives come forward to claim the proceeds of a kinship proceeding, the moneys are eventually deposited with the State of New York.

As New York kinship lawyers, we sift through thousands of documents and genealogical records to piece together a family tree. We are literally recreating every possible member of the decedent’s family who may be entitled to inherit through a kinship proceeding beginning with spouses, children, siblings, parents, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews and finally cousins.

After isolating the family members who predeceased the decedent we are left with the surviving heirs who are eligible to claim a portion of the decedent’s estate. If this process is not difficult enough, as highly experienced kinship attorneys we often come across a variety of issues, which make this process more difficult. A common issue is what to do when an heir dies after the decedent?

If the heir dies after the decedent then they are known as the post-decedent. A post-decedent’s estate (heirs) are entitled to step into their shoes and claim their share of the underlying kinship case. These types of kinship cases can become very complicated very quickly especially if the post–deceased did not leave a will. This type of estate is often referred to as a kinship case within a kinship case.

If the post-deceased heir leaves behind a will, then all we have to do is appoint an executor and distribute their proceeds of the underlying kinship case to their distributees pursuant to the will. However, when the post-deceased dies without a will it becomes a kinship case within a kinship case. At this point we are forced to once again recreate the family tree but this time for the heir of the original kinship case. These cases can be just as time consuming as the underlying kinship case as we now have to isolate the heirs of the post-decedent’s estate as well as the heirs of the original decedent.

As New York kinship attorneys there is very little we have not seen and these types of cases are no exception. If you have any questions regarding these or any other type of kinship case, feel free to reach an experienced New York kinship lawyer at the Law Offices of Jason W. Stern & Associates at (718) 261-2444. If you think you or someone you know may be entitled to the proceeds of an unclaimed kinship estate one of our attorneys would be happy to counsel you.

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