Inheritance Law

Lawyers Guide

Inheritance laws come into effect when a person dies with no will, or if the will is proven to be invalid. Inheritance laws are decided on the state level and decide who will get which assets.

  • ContentHow Do Inheritance Laws Work?

    Someone has passed away and that person's friends, family, and loved ones are left to sort out what to do with the things that are left behind. This can include both assets and liabilities. Whether a will was left or not, it is often important to understand how inheritance laws work in order to avoid disputes and keep anyone from being left with nothing but debt.

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  • ContentHow to Claim the Inheritance of a Person Living Abroad

    Being the heir of a deceased person living abroad can provide a U.S. beneficiary with financial benefits. However, the U.S. beneficiary needs to consider various issues that will arise from claiming the inheritance.

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  • ContentHow Financial Aid is Affected by Gifts and Inheritance

    The vast majority of college and university students depend on financial aid to help them fund their education. When a college student receives a gift or inheritance, he or she may be ecstatic about the prospect of having more financial resources at their disposal, especially if funds are generally limited. However, receiving a gift or inheritance can have an impact on a student’s financial aid.

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  • ContentInheritance Issues When Parents Were Never Married

    Inheritances may occur without the need for parents to marry, but the state laws may not recognize the person as an heir or beneficiary to an estate or trust without full recognition when the parents do not leave a legal document behind. The default process may cut the person out of the inheritance when neither parent marries and acknowledges the individual.

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  • ContentInheritance Issues - Family Not Cooperating, What Are My Options?

    Inheritances have specific rules that make them different than other kinds of assets. For example, an inheritance is usually treated as separate property, even in community property estates. If family friction has begun due to friction of learning about a future inheritance, steps can be made in the estate planning process to minimize conflict. Additionally, steps can also be taken after the testator dies to help deal with family problems.

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  • ContentInheritance Laws

    Inheritance laws are determined on the state level. These laws come into effect when the person who died left no will or his or her will is invalidated due to not following legal formalities, being the product of undue influence or duress, the testator lacking the requisite capacity or for other reasons as determined under state law. Additionally, some inheritance laws take effect even if a valid will was left and if the will says something that contradicts state law.

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  • ContentInheritance Rights for Legitimate and Illegitimate Children

    An important question in inheritance law is whether a child has the right to inherit from his or her parent. A parent can decide in most states whether or not his or her adult children will receive any inheritance from him or her by making a will with these instructions. However, if the person dies without a will, state law dictates whether the children receive an inheritance. The legitimacy of a child can be part of this determination.

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  • ContentDo Children Have the Right to Inherit?

    Whether a child has the right to inherit largely depends on whether the person who died has a valid will or not. With a will, the testator determines how he or she wants probate assets handled. Without a will, state laws of intestacy govern.

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  • ContentLeaving Your Things to Friends After Your Death

    When considering your final affairs, you may find there are things that you would like to pass to people outside of your immediate family. In fact, maybe you want to leave everything to people outside of your family. Whatever the case, you will need to know how to direct the distribution of your assets in accordance with your wishes.

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