Next of kin refers to a person’s closest living blood relative.
The next-of-kin relationship is important in determining inheritance rights if a person dies without a will and has no spouse and/or children.
Who is next of kin if unmarried?
In the United States, your “next of kin” are the people who will inherit your estate if you die without a will. If you die without a will, you are considered to have died “intestate.” Typically, your spouse and children will serve as your next of kin.
Who is the next of kin when someone dies without a will?
When someone dies without a will, state laws — the so-called “laws of intestate succession” — determine who inherits the estate. If the deceased left a surviving spouse or children, these people are considered “next of kin” and generally inherit the entire estate.
Are stepchildren considered next of kin?
The child of a spouse’s former husband or wife (a stepchild) is not related by blood to the decedent, and so such children are generally not deemed to be intestate heirs of the stepparent, unless that stepparent actually adopted the stepchild during life.
Who inherits when there is no will?
Generally, only spouses, registered domestic partners, and blood relatives inherit under intestate succession laws; unmarried partners, friends, and charities get nothing. If the deceased person was married, the surviving spouse usually gets the largest share.