NH Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

What is Intestacy?

The laws of intestacy apply when someone passes away without a will.  There are other circumstances in which the laws of intestacy apply, such as if there was a will but it was determined to be invalid.  New Hampshire has a statute that states how an estate should be divided in the case of intestacy.  If there is a surviving spouse, s/he will generally receive some distribution, the amount depending on whether there are surviving children or parents of the deceased.  For instance, if there are no parents or children of the deceased, then the surviving spouse would receive the entire estate.  However, if the decedent is survived by a spouse and children who are also the children of the surviving spouse, then the surviving spouse receives the first $250,000 plus ½ of the balance of the estate.  Estate planning, such as with a Will or Trust, can avoid having your estate being divided up in this way, so that you can give what you have to whom to you want, when you want, and in the way that you want. 

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