When someone passes away without a will, the Surrogate’s Court has to navigate one of the most tangled things in life, family. A representative of the court will attempt to identify heirs and distribute assets to them. This can be easy when the deceased was known to have children or a spouse, but when there’s difficulty identifying valid heirs kinship hearings may occur. A kinship hearing is when someone claims to be a valid heir to the estate and begins legal proceedings to prove it.
Who Can Start Kinship Hearings?
Of course, kinship hearings can be, and often are, started by anyone regardless of whether or not there’s an actual relation. But what kind of relationship should exist for the hearing to be successful? The individual starting a kinship hearing will be tasked with proving that they are a blood relative of the deceased. Accomplishing this isn’t as straightforward as it sounds and requires navigating the extensive bureaucratic labyrinth of the Surrogate’s Court.
Why Is This Important?
For a few people knowledge about kinship hearings may be important if they find out that some distant blood relative passed away and there’s money waiting for them. For the rest of us, knowing about kinship hearings provides a different purpose. If you care about someone who isn’t related to you by blood, or you want to spare your intended heirs the difficulty of warding off fraudulent kinship hearings then you need estate planning. Knowledge of kinship hearings underlines the importance of preparing your assets for simple, easy distribution after passing.
Maybe you do have an interest in starting a kinship hearing. On the other hand, maybe you want to make sure your things go to the people you want them to go to. In either situation you need an experienced estate planning legal team. At Morgan Legal Group we are renowned for the thoroughness of our legal services and always work diligently to accomplish what’s best for each and every one of our clients. It would be our pleasure to help you with all of your estate planning needs.