New Hampshire Intestacy Laws
New Hampshire Intestacy Laws
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New Hampshire's Intestacy Laws

If you die without a valid will while residing in the State of New Hampshire, you are said to have died "intestate."  In order to determine who will receive your property if you die intestate, the State of New Hampshire has established a number of laws (known as "intestacy laws" or "laws of intestate succession.") The primary statutes comprising these intestacy laws, or laws of intestate succession, are set forth below. For a more complete list, see New Hampshire Intestacy Laws | Intestate Succession statutes.

 

 

561:1 Distribution Upon Intestacy.

The real estate and personal estate of every person deceased, not devised or bequeathed, subject to any homestead right, and liable to be sold by license from the court of probate in cases provided by law, and personally remaining in the hands of the administrator on settlement of his or her account, shall descend or be distributed by decree of the probate court:

I. If the deceased is survived by a spouse, the spouse shall receive:

       (a) If there is no surviving issue or parent of the decedent, the entire intestate estate;

       (b) If there are surviving issue of the decedent all of whom are issue of the surviving spouse also, and there are no other issue of the surviving spouse who survive the decedent, the first $250,000, plus 1/2 of the balance;

       (c) If there are no surviving issue of the decedent but the decedent is survived by a parent or parents, the first $250,000, plus 3/4 of the balance of the intestate estate;

       (d) If there are surviving issue of the decedent all of whom are issue of the surviving spouse also, and the surviving spouse has one or more surviving issue who are not the issue of the decedent, the first $150,000, plus 1/2 of the balance of the intestate estate;

       (e) If there are surviving issue of the decedent one or more of whom are not issue of the surviving spouse, the first $100,000, plus 1/2 of the intestate estate.

II. The part of the intestate estate not passing to the surviving spouse under paragraph I, or the entire intestate estate if there is no surviving spouse, passes as follows:

       (a) To the issue of the decedent equally if they are all of the same degree of kinship to the decedent, but if of unequal degree, then those of more remote degree take by representation.

       (b) If there are no surviving issue, to the decedent's parent or parents equally.

       (c) If there are no surviving issue or parent, to the brothers and sisters and the issue of each deceased brother or sister by representation; if there is no surviving brother or sister, the issue of brothers and sisters take equally if they are all of the same degree of kinship to the decedent, but if of unequal degree then those of more remote degree take by representation.

       (d) If there are no surviving issue, parent or issue of a parent but the decedent is survived by one or more grandparents, one half of the estate passes to the paternal grandparents if both survive or to the surviving paternal grandparent if one paternal grandparent is deceased and the other half passes to the maternal grandparents in the same manner; or if only one grandparent survives, such grandparent shall receive the entire estate.

       (e) If there are no surviving issue, parent, issue of a parent, or grandparent but there are issue of the decedent's grandparent who survive, one half of the estate passes to the issue of the paternal grandparent who are not beyond the fourth degree of kinship to the decedent and said issue shall take equally if they are all of the same degree of kinship to the decedent, but if of unequal degree those of more remote degree take by representation, and the other half passes to the issue of the maternal grandparent who are not beyond the fourth degree of kinship and said issue shall take equally if they are all of the same degree of kinship to the decedent, but if of unequal degree those of more remote degree take by representation; provided, however, that if there are no issue of the decedent's grandparent within the fourth degree of kinship to the decedent on either the paternal or maternal side, the entire estate passes to the issue on the other side who are not beyond the fourth degree of kinship to the decedent and said issue shall take equally if they are all of the same degree of kinship to the decedent, but if of unequal degree those of more remote degree take by representation.

       (f) No portion of a decedent's intestate estate shall pass to any person who is of the fifth or greater degree of kinship to the decedent.

       (g) If there is no taker under the provisions of this section, the intestate estate passes to the state of New Hampshire.

III. All determinations of survivorship shall be made in accordance with the provisions of RSA 563.

 

561:2 Estate of Unmarried Minor. 

If any person die under age and unmarried his estate, derived by descent or devise from his father or mother, shall descend to his brothers and sisters, or their legal representatives if any, to the exclusion of the other parent.

 

561:3 Representation. –

[Repealed 2003, 47:2, I, eff. Jan. 1, 2004.]
 


561:4 Inheritance of Children Born of Unwed Parents.

I. A child born of unwed parents shall inherit from or through his mother as if born in lawful wedlock. The estate of a person born of unwed parents dying intestate and leaving no issue, nor husband, nor wife shall descend to the mother, and, if the mother is dead, through the line of the mother as if the person so dying were born in lawful wedlock.

II. A child born of unwed parents shall inherit from or through his father as if born in lawful wedlock, under any of the following conditions:

       (a) Intermarriage of the parents after the birth of the child.

       (b) Acknowledgment of paternity or legitimation by the father.

       (c) A court decree adjudges the decedent to be the father before his death.

       (d) Paternity is established after the death of the father by clear and convincing evidence.

       (e) The decedent had adopted the child. 


 

561:5 Children of Unwed Parents; Mother's Estate.

[Repealed 1983, 181:2, eff. June 10, 1983.]

 

561:6 Personal Estate Not Bequeathed.

[Repealed 1971, 179:27, eff. Aug. 10, 1971.]
 


<561:7 Personal Estate Bequeathed.

The personal estate bequeathed by a testator shall be distributed by decree of the judge according to the will. 

 

561:7-a Interim Distributions Authorized.

The personal estate of a person deceased which was not bequeathed or included in a bequest and which remains in the hands of the executor or administrator upon settlement of an account of such fiduciary shall be distributed according to law by decree of the judge. Upon the application of the fiduciary or any interested person, the judge may issue interim orders approving or directing partial distributions or granting other relief at any time during the pendency of administration to effect distributions as expeditiously and efficiently as may be consistent with the best interests of the estate.
 
 

561:8 Escheat, etc. –

[Repealed 1998, 155:10, V, eff. July 8, 1998.]

 

561:9 Payment to State.

If no heir or legatee be ascertained at the expiration of three years from the original grant of administration, the judge shall order the administrator to pay the balance into the state treasury, where it shall be subject to the claims of persons entitled thereto, upon application to the legislature.
 
 

[Reference - New Hampshire's Intestacy laws]

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