What is the legal definition of next of kin?

Full Question:

The definition of next of kin and the legal law in State of Georgia, but couple was married in Florida and wife died in Georgia during seperation.
05/03/2009   |   Category: Courts ยป Legal Defini...   |   State: Florida   |   #16524

Answer:

When a person dies without a will, the estate is typically governed by the intestate distribution laws of the state in which the decedent resided at the time of death. The following is a Georgia intestate distribution statute:

53-2-1. (a) As used in this Code section, the term:

(a) As used in this Code section, the term:

(1) "Abandon" means that a parent of a minor child, without justifiable
cause, fails to communicate with the minor child, care for the minor
child, and provide for the minor child's support as required by law or
judicial decree for a period of at least one year immediately prior to
the date of the death of the minor.

(2) "Abandonment" means the act of abandoning.

(3) "Minor child" means a person who is less than 18 years of age.

(b) For purposes of this Code section:

(1) Children of the decedent who are born after the decedent's death
are considered children in being at the decedent's death, provided
they were conceived prior to the decedent's death, were born within
ten months of the decedent's death, and survived 120 hours or more
after birth; and

(2) The half-blood, whether on the maternal or paternal side, are
considered equally with the whole-blood, so that the children of any
common parent are treated as brothers and sisters to each other.

(c) Except as provided in subsection (d) of this Code section, when a
decedent died without a will, the following rules shall determine
such decedent's heirs:

(1) Upon the death of an individual who is survived by a spouse but
not by any child or other descendant, the spouse is the sole heir. If
the decedent is also survived by any child or other descendant, the
spouse shall share equally with the children, with the descendants of
any deceased child taking that child's share, per stirpes; provided,
however, that the spouse's portion shall not be less than a one-third
share;

(2) If the decedent is not survived by a spouse, the heirs shall be
those relatives, as provided in this Code section, who are in the
nearest degree to the decedent in which there is any survivor;

(3) Children of the decedent are in the first degree, and those who
survive the decedent shall share the estate equally, with the descendants
of any deceased child taking, per stirpes, the share that child would
have taken if in life;

(4) Parents of the decedent are in the second degree, and those who
survive the decedent shall share the estate equally;

(5) Siblings of the decedent are in the third degree, and those who
survive the decedent shall share the estate equally, with the descendants
of any deceased sibling taking, per stirpes, the share that sibling would
have taken if in life; provided, however, that, subject to the provisions
of paragraph (1) of subsection (f) of Code Section 53-1-20, if no sibling
survives the decedent, the nieces and nephews who survive the decedent
shall take the estate in equal shares, with the descendants of any
deceased niece or nephew taking, per stirpes, the share that niece or
nephew would have taken if in life;

(6) Grandparents of the decedent are in the fourth degree, and those
who survive the decedent shall share the estate equally;

(7) Uncles and aunts of the decedent are in the fifth degree, and those
who survive the decedent shall share the estate equally, with the
children of any deceased uncle or aunt taking, per stirpes, the share
that uncle or aunt would have taken if in life; provided, however, that,
subject to the provisions of paragraph (1) of subsection (f) of Code
Section 53-1-20, if no uncle or aunt of the decedent survives the
decedent, the first cousins who survive the decedent shall share the
estate equally; and

(8) The more remote degrees of kinship shall be determined by counting
the number of steps in the chain from the relative to the closest common
ancestor of the relative and decedent and the number of steps in the
chain from the common ancestor to the decedent. The sum of the steps in
the two chains shall be the degree of kinship, and the surviving
relatives with the lowest sum shall be in the nearest degree and shall
share the estate equally.

(d) Except as provided in Code Sections 19-7-1 and 51-4-4 for the right
of recovery for the wrongful death of a child, when a minor child dies
without a will, a parent who willfully abandoned his or her minor child
and has maintained such abandonment shall lose all right to intestate
succession to the minor child's estate and shall not have the right to
administer the minor child's estate. A parent who has been deprived of
the custody of his or her minor child under an order of a court of
competent jurisdiction and who has substantially complied with the
support requirements of the order shall not be barred from inheriting
from the minor child's estate.

(e) For cases in which abandonment is alleged, the moving party shall
file a motion with the probate court requesting the judge to determine
the issue of abandonment and shall serve all parties as set forth in
subsection (f) of this Code section. A hearing shall be conducted and all
parties shall have the opportunity to present evidence regarding the
party's relationship with the decedent. The burden of proof to show an
abandonment is on the person asserting the abandonment by clear and
convincing evidence.

(f) All parties to a motion filed pursuant to subsection (e) of this
Code section shall be served in accordance with Chapter 11 of this
title. If a party cannot be personally served and the party's interest in
an estate is subject to forfeiture pursuant to subsection (d) of this
Code section, the judge shall appoint a guardian ad litem for the party.
If a party cannot be personally served, the citation shall also be
published in the newspaper in which sheriff's advertisements are published
in the county where the party was last known to reside.

(g) In the event that a parent is disqualified from taking a
distributive share in the estate of a decedent under subsection (d) of
this Code section, the estate of such decedent shall be distributed in
accordance with subsection (c) of this Code section as though the parent
had predeceased the decedent.

Ask Legal Question

Your Privacy is 100% Confidential!