Intestacy (No Will) and Property Distribution

New York laws establish the right to inherit for those who are kin to a deceased family member. A will typically names the beneficiaries. However, even with a will, sometimes the law overrides the provisions in a will. In addition, if the family member died without a will (intestate), New York intestacy laws apply and determine inheritance rights.

New York Laws that Determine the Heirs for Intestacy

Several New York laws determine inheritance rights. One such law is the Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act (SCPA) Section 1001 . In New York, the Surrogate Court is name of the court that handles all matters regarding the affairs of deceased individuals. This particular law conveys the order in which the decedent’s kin may inherit from the estate.

Based on the Surrogate’s Procedure Act, kin take priority for inheritance as follows:

  • Surviving spouse
  • Children
  • Father or mother
  • Brothers or sisters
  • Other heirs, such as grandparents, aunts or uncles

Another New York law that establishes inheritance rights is the Estates Powers and Trust Law. This law explains how the estate must distribute property when the deceased individual resided in New York and a will did not cover the decedent’s property. Furthermore, if a will does not address all the assets of an estate, the court will determine who has the right to inherit those assets.

The spouse’s right to inherit can be the first $50,000.00 plus 50% of the estate, if the decedent had children. The order of inheritance outlined by the Estate Powers and Trust Law is the same order that appears in the Surrogate’s Procedure Act. In addition, the Estate Powers and Trust Law goes into greater detail listing heirs who are great grandchildren of grandparents, half blood relatives, and children conceived prior to the decedent’s death but who were born after their death.

Do you have a question about your right to inherit or a related issue?

Call The Law Office of Bonnie Lawston for a free confidential review of your estate or guardianship matter. We offer reasonable and flexible fee arrangements and personal representation.

Bonnie Lawston, P.C.

Office Address:1841 New York Avenue, Huntington Station, New York 11746 (No Mail to this Location)

Mailing Address: P.O. BOX 317, RIDGE, NEW YORK, 11961 (Send All mail and correspondence)

Office  (631) 425-7299               Fax  1-866-431-0101