WillsHaving a last will and testament can help ensure that your estate is distributed in the manner that you intended.  A will also allows you to designate an executor to manage your estate.  If you pass away without a will (called intestate) the laws of the State of New York determine how your estate is distributed.

If you pass away intestate your estate is distributed as follows:

  • If survived by a spouse and children, the spouse receives the first $50,000 plus one-half the remainder.  The rest would be divided among your children.
  • If survived by a spouse only, the spouse inherits the entire estate.
  • If survived by children only, they would share the estate evenly.
  • If survived by no spouse and no children then the estate would be distributed to your parents, if surviving or a sibling.
  • If the court is unable to locate a next of kin beyond a certain degree, the whole of the estate is distributed to New York State.

For more information please contact Ross S. Gelber at 716-632-5919 or by email at rgelber@rossgelberlaw.com.