Intestacy Provisions

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If an individual dies without a Will, the laws of the State of New Jersey provide for the distribution of property by intestate succession.  The basic intestacy provisions are as follows:

WHEN THE  DECEDENT LEAVES:

(WHO SURVIVES)

INTESTACY PROVISIONS: (WHO RECEIVES)

Spouse and parent(s) but no children

Spouse: the first 25% (but not less than $50,000.00 nor more than $200,000.00) plus 75% of the balance. Parents: the balance.

Spouse and children, all of whom are also children of the surviving spouse

Spouse: 100% of the estate Children: nothing

Spouse and children, some of whom are not children of the surviving spouse.

Spouse: the first 25% (but not less than $50,000.00 nor more than $200.000.00) plus one 50% of the balance. Children of the Decedent: the balance.

Spouse and children, all of whom are also children of surviving spouse but surviving spouse also has children by someone other than the decedent.

Spouse: the first 25% (but not less than $50,000.00 nor more than $200,000.00) plus 50% of the balance. Children of the Decedent:  the balance.

Spouse and step-children (children of surviving spouse are not Decedent's Children).

Spouse: 100% of the estate

Step-children but no descendants, parents, descendants of parents or descendants of grandparents

Step-children:  100% of the estate

Note:  

1. The term "Spouse," as used herein, also represents civil union domestic partners.

2. A person who fails to survive the decedent by 120 hours is deemed to have predeceased the decedent for purposes of intestate succession.

3. Shares of predeceased children pass to their descendants by representation.

4. The decedent's estate assets escheat to the State of New Jersey where there are no step-children and no next of kin (spouse; child or its descendants; parent; brother or sister or their descendants; grandparent; uncle or aunt or their descendants).