What Everyone Needs To Know About “Next Of Kin?”
In a family court, “Next of Kin” is a widely used term that refers to the immediate blood relatives of a deceased person. If someone dies, he or she leaves behind an inheritance. This inheritance could be either assets, land, wealth, or anything else that the deceased owned in his or her life.
Now, who will own this inheritance? Well, this is where the term next of kin kicks in. Next of kin(s) are the individuals who will “legally” own the inheritance of the deceased. These individuals can be blood relatives like kids. Or, these individuals can be the legal precedents of the deceased, like a spouse (wife) or adopted kids.
So, next of kin are either blood relatives or legal relatives of the deceased who take over one’s estate after his death. This article will explain next of kin from the very basics. Moving forward, we will also explain why it is so important for everyone to understand the term next of kin. Likewise, we will also shed a brief light on the legal standings of next of kin.
Who or What is Next of Kin?
As mentioned earlier, next of kin refers to a relationship that is either legally attached to the deceased – like adopted kids and spouses. Or, it is a term that refers to the immediate blood relatives of the deceased like his children. So, the idea is that the next of kin are the direct or close relatives of the deceased who are legally obliged to take over the deceased’s estate.
Thus, the deceased can either “distribute” his estate before his death, or the next of kin can legally claim the estate after the owner is dead. Now, family leaders and spouses who die without distributing their estates among their next of kin create problems for the next of kin.
If, for instance, the deceased has eight kids and two wives. And he has not distributed the share of the estate with the next of kin, they will have to knock on the door of courts. From there, they can legally get their share.
Why is it So Important to Understand the Term Next of Kin?
It is pristinely clear that the next of kin are legally responsible for taking over the estate and wealth of the estate. That is why it would be ideal if the deceased distributed the share of the next of kin prior to departing from this world.
So, if you know who your next of kin is, you can easily distribute their shares among them. Plus, you can do this well before leaving this world. In turn, your descendants can live a peaceful life.
On the other hand, if none of your kids and blood relatives know about the term next of kin, things can get complicated. This is especially the case when you die without distributing their shares. They will have to go through complex court proceedings to claim their share – something they should have been given when you (the estate owner) were alive.
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