Next of Kin

Written by True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF® | Reviewed by Editorial Team

Updated on January 04, 2023

Next of Kin Definition

A person's "Next of Kin" is their closest living blood relative.

The purpose of determining a person's next of kin is to figure out the appropriate and legal line of inheritance for their estate.

In some cases, the next of kin may also have certain responsibilities during or right after their relative's life.

For example, they may need to make medical decisions or prepare funeral arrangements.

How to Determine Next of Kin

Generally speaking, legally determining a person's next of kin is not as important if the deceased leaves behind a will or if they have a living spouse.

In the case that the deceased has a will, it becomes the primary legal outline mandating the distribution of their estate.

If the deceased has a living spouse but no will, then by law in most US states, the estate is inherited in full by the spouse.

Next of Kin Example

In lieu of a will or a living spouse, the line of inheritance starts with the offspring of the deceased, moving from their children to their grandchildren and so on.

In the absence of any offspring, the line of inheritance moves upward to the parents of the deceased.

If their parents are not capable of receiving the inheritance, then so-called collateral heirs, meaning siblings, nieces, and nephews, have the right to the deceased's estate.

Reach out to Experts

Reach out to a financial advisor in Chattanooga, TN for more information on how you can use estate planning to secure your next of kin.

Our team is here to help provide the guidance and legal knowledge that will help ensure everything goes smoothly for both your loved one's family, friends, and heirs.

For those of you that do not live locally, please visit our financial advisors home page to see the areas we serve.

 

Next of KinFAQs

What is Next of Kin?

A person’s “Next of Kin” is their closest living blood relative.

What is the purpose of determining a person's Next of Kin?

The purpose of determining a person’s next of kin is to figure out the appropriate and legal line of inheritance for their estate.

Is it always important to determine the Next of Kin?

Generally speaking, legally determining a person’s next of kin is not as important if the deceased leaves behind a will or if they have a living spouse.

What is the order of one's Next of Kin in estate planning?

In lieu of a will or a living spouse, the line of inheritance starts with the offspring of the deceased, moving from their children to their grandchildren and so on.

What is the importance of a will?

In the case that the deceased has a will, it becomes the primary legal outline mandating the distribution of their estate.

About the Author

True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

True Tamplin is a published author, public speaker, CEO of UpDigital, and founder of Finance Strategists.

True is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF®), author of The Handy Financial Ratios Guide, a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing, contributes to his financial education site, Finance Strategists, and has spoken to various financial communities such as the CFA Institute, as well as university students like his Alma mater, Biola University, where he received a bachelor of science in business and data analytics.

To learn more about True, visit his personal website, view his author profile on Amazon, or check out his speaker profile on the CFA Institute website.

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