New Jersey Intestacy Laws
New Jersey Intestacy Laws
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New Jersey's Intestacy Laws

If you die without a valid will while residing in the State of New Jersey, you are said to have died "intestate."  In order to determine who will receive your property if you die intestate, the State of New Jersey 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 Jersey Intestacy Laws | Intestate Succession statutes.

 

 

3B:5-2   Intestate estate.

  a.  Any part of the decedent's estate not effectively disposed of by his will passes by intestate succession to the decedent's heirs as prescribed in N.J.S.3B:5-3 through N.J.S.3B:5-14, except as modified by the decedent's will.
 
  b.  A decedent by will may expressly exclude or limit the right of an individual or class to succeed to property of the decedent passing by intestate succession. If that individual or member of that class survives the decedent, the share of the decedent's intestate estate to which that individual or class would have succeeded passes as if that individual or each member of that class had disclaimed his intestate share.

 


3B:5-3   Intestate share of decedent's surviving spouse or domestic partner.

Intestate share of decedent's surviving spouse or domestic partner.
 
The intestate share of the surviving spouse or domestic partner is:

a.  The entire intestate estate if:
(1)  No descendant or parent of the decedent survives the decedent; or 

(2)  All of the decedent's surviving descendants are also descendants of the surviving spouse or domestic partner and there is no other descendant of the surviving spouse or domestic partner who survives the decedent;
b.  The first 25% of the intestate estate, but not less than $50,000.00 nor more than $200,000.00, plus three-fourths of any balance of the intestate estate, if no descendant of the decedent survives the decedent, but a parent of the decedent survives the decedent;
c.  The first 25% of the intestate estate, but not less than $50,000.00 nor more than $200,000.00, plus one-half of the balance of the intestate estate:
  (1)  If all of the decedent's surviving descendants are also descendants of the surviving spouse or domestic partner and the surviving spouse or domestic partner has one or more surviving descendants who are not descendants of the decedent; or
 
  (2)  If one or more of the decedent's surviving descendants is not a descendant of the surviving spouse or domestic partner. 

 


3B:5-4   Intestate shares of heirs other than surviving spouse or domestic partner.

Any part of the intestate estate not passing to the decedent's surviving spouse or domestic partner under N.J.S.3B:5-3, or the entire intestate estate if there is no surviving spouse or domestic partner, passes in the following order to the individuals designated below who survive the decedent:
a. To the decedent's descendants by representation;

b. If there are no surviving descendants, to the decedent's parents equally if both survive, or to the surviving parent;

c. If there are no surviving descendants or parent, to the descendants of the decedent's parents or either of them by representation;

d. If there is no surviving descendant, parent or descendant of a parent, but the decedent is survived by one or more grandparents, half of the estate passes to the decedent's paternal grandparents equally if both survive, or to the surviving paternal grandparent, or to the descendants of the decedent's paternal grandparents or either of them if both are deceased, the descendants taking by representation; and the other half passes to the decedent's maternal relatives in the same manner; but if there is no surviving grandparent, or descendant of a grandparent on either the paternal or the maternal side, the entire estate passes to the decedent's relatives on the other side in the same manner as the half.

e. If there is no surviving descendant, parent, descendant of a parent, or grandparent, but the decedent is survived by one or more descendants of grandparents, the descendants 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. If there are no surviving descendants of grandparents, then the decedent's step-children or their descendants by representation.

 


3B:5-6  Determining representation

a. As used in this section:
(1) "Deceased descendant," "deceased parent," or "deceased grandparent" means a descendant, parent or grandparent who either predeceased the decedent or is deemed to have predeceased the decedent under N.J.S.3B:5-1.

(2) "Surviving descendant" means a descendant who neither predeceased the decedent nor is deemed to have predeceased the decedent under N.J.S.3B:5-1.
b. If, under N.J.S.3B:5-4, a decedent's intestate estate or part thereof passes "by representation" to the decedent's descendants, the estate or part thereof is divided into as many equal shares as there are: (1) surviving descendants in the generation nearest to the decedent which contains one or more surviving descendants; and (2) deceased descendants in the same generation who left surviving descendants, if any. Each surviving descendant in the nearest generation is allocated one share. The remaining shares, if any, are combined and then divided in the same manner among the surviving descendants of the deceased descendants as if the surviving descendants who were allocated a share and their surviving descendants had predeceased the decedent.

c. If, under section c. or d. of N.J.S.3B:5-4, a decedent's intestate estate or a part thereof passes "by representation" to the descendants of the decedent's deceased parents or either of them or to the descendants of the decedent's deceased paternal or maternal grandparents or either of them, the estate or part thereof is divided into as many equal shares as there are: (1) surviving descendants in the generation nearest the deceased parents or either of them, or the deceased grandparents or either of them, that contains one or more surviving descendants; and (2) deceased descendants in the same generation who left surviving descendants, if any. Each surviving descendant in the nearest generation is allocated one share. The remaining shares, if any, are combined and then divided in the same manner among the surviving descendants of the deceased descendants as if the surviving descendants who were allocated a share, and their surviving descendants had predeceased the decedent.

 


3B:5-7. Relatives of the half blood


Relatives of the half blood inherit the same share they would inherit if they were of the whole blood.

 

46:30B-37.1 Presumption of abandonment: unclaimed estate assets.

Except as otherwise provided in this section, property held by a fiduciary as defined in N.J.S.3B:1-1 or an assignee under N.J.S.2A:19-1 et seq. and remaining unclaimed for 90 days after the account of that fiduciary or assignee is judicially allowed by the courts or settled informally is presumed abandoned. Unclaimed property held by a fiduciary of an intestate estate payable to the unknown heirs of an intestate decedent shall be presumed abandoned 90 days after publication by the fiduciary of the notice required in N.J.S.3B:5-5

 

 

 

 

[Reference - New Jersey's Intestacy laws]

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