Intestacy Laws in New Haven
When a person dies “intestate,” it simply means they died without a Will. It is fairly common for people to die without having written a Will, typically because they just haven’t gotten around to writing one. If this happens, probate courts will apply the intestacy laws in New Haven to determine how to distribute the deceased’s assets.
Connecticut’s intestacy laws generally favor the surviving spouse, any children, and the deceased’s parents before moving to other blood relatives if neither of those categories are relevant to the deceased. A dedicated lawyer can help you fully understand these laws.
Assets Covered Under Intestate Succession
Only certain types of assets will pass through intestate succession in New Haven. The general rule is that any asset that could have been passed through the deceased’s Will—if they had one—is eligible to pass through Connecticut’s intestate laws. These include all assets that were exclusively owned by the deceased. Any property that was co-owned by the deceased and a second individual will not be passed by intestate succession.
Other categories of assets not affected by intestate succession include:
- Retirement accounts
- Property held in trusts
- Life insurance benefits
- Certain financial accounts
Instead of being passed by intestate succession, the assets described above are automatically passed to the named beneficiary or surviving co-owner.
How Are Assets Distributed Under the Law in New Haven?
Section 45a-437 of the Connecticut Code lays out how the deceased’s assets will be distributed if they die intestate. According to the statute, the amount that the surviving spouse inherits will depend on whether or not the deceased had children or living parents. For instance, if the deceased had children, the surviving spouse would get the first $100,000 of the estate, plus half of the remaining balance. The other half would go to the children. If the deceased had no children but had living parents, the surviving spouse would get the first $100,000 of the intestate property, plus 75 percent of the remaining inheritance. The parents would receive the other 25 percent.
If the deceased had no spouse or children, and only parents, everything would go to the parents. Similarly, if the deceased had only children, everything would go to the children. If the deceased had no spouse, no children, and no surviving parents, the next kin in line would be the siblings, according to intestacy laws in New Haven.
How Children Inherit Intestate Property
If the deceased died intestate, their children will receive a share of their property. The size of their inheritance depends on how many children there are and whether or not the deceased was married.
Under Connecticut state law, for a child to inherit any of the deceased’s property, they must be the “legal” child of the deceased. That means that any child not biologically related to the deceased must have been legally adopted in order to be eligible for the inheritance.
Foster children or stepchildren will not be eligible to receive the deceased’s inheritance unless they were legally adopted. Any child that the deceased themselves placed for adoption and who were subsequently adopted by another family will not receive any share of the deceased’s inheritance.
Let a New Haven Lawyer Explain Intestacy Laws
If a person dies without a Will, the probate process gets a little more complicated. To ensure that the deceased’s property is properly distributed, a New Haven estate-planning attorney today to learn about Intestacy Laws in New Haven.