Intestate Succession is an estate plan by default. If you fail to personally create an estate plan prior to death, then the State of New York will determine to whom your estate will be transferred. In many intestate situations, the heirs, as determined by the state, and are not the persons to whom you would have left the property. The current law provides that if:
- You have a spouse and children: The spouse receives $50,000 plus one-half of the balance of your assets. The children equally share the other one-half.
- You have a spouse and no children: The spouse receives everything.
- You have children and no spouse: The children equally share everything. If a child predeceases you, his or her children may inherit.
- You have parents and no spouse or children: The parents share everything.
- No parents, spouse or children: Distribution depends upon who the closest living blood relatives may be.