What Are New Jersey's Intestate Succession Laws? | Monroe Township - Middlesex County
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New Jersey’s Intestate Succession Laws

November 18, 2019

Filed under: Estate Planning — Laura Pennington @ 3:39 pm

If you pass away without a will in New Jersey, your assets will be passed on to your closest relatives under laws established by New Jersey for intestate succession. Only assets that would have passed through your will are impacted by New Jersey’s intestate succession laws.

New Jersey Road Sign with dramatic clouds and sky.

Typically, this includes only assets that you own in your own name alone. It’s important to remember that many different valuable assets do not go through your will and are, therefore, not affected by intestate succession laws.

Common examples include life insurance proceeds, property that was transferred to a living trust, payable on death bank accounts, funds in an IRA, securities held in a transfer on death account, and property on hold in tenancy by the entirety or in joint tenancy.

If you pass away with children but no spouse, your children will inherit everything. If you pass away with a spouse but no descendants or parents, the spouse inherits everything. If you pass away with a spouse and descendants from you and that spouse but that spouse also has descendants from another relationship, your spouse is entitled to inherit 25% of your intestate property.

If you pass away with a spouse and parents, the spouse is entitled to the first 25% of your intestate property so long as this is not less than $50,000 and more than $200,000, plus three-quarters of the balance. The parents would inherit any of the remaining intestate property.

It can be overwhelming to try to figure out this process of deciding who gets what on your own. It’s important to schedule a consultation with a New Jersey intestate succession lawyer to put together an appropriate plan for passing on your assets.       

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