How Does Next of Kin Work?

When a family member passes away, someone within the family is chosen as the next of kin. This title comes with various responsibilities, from making critical decisions regarding the deceased family member’s assets to becoming the new property owner.

Moreover, the decisions you must make sometimes require paying for funeral costs and other expenses, making it beneficial to get cash advances from experts like Inheritance Funding. This guide will answer all your questions about the technical aspects of next of kin and what they become responsible for.

What Does Next of Kin Mean?

The term “next of kin” refers to a deceased person’s closest living relative. When someone passes away without a will or any beneficiaries — named individuals set to inherit their assets — the court will determine who their next of kin is and allow them to inherit that person’s property and assets.

How Is Next of Kin Determined?

Because the next of kin should be the closest living relative, identifying this person requires going through a structured list, with the existing person closest to the top being the next of kin. Here is the standard order of the list:

  • Spouse
  • Adopted and biological children
  • Grandchildren
  • Parents
  • Siblings
  • Nieces and nephews
  • Grandparents
  • Aunts or uncles
  • Cousins

In a real-life situation, if a deceased person with an estate has no spouse but three children, the estate will either be divided equally between the children or one of them can volunteer to be next of kin.

Does Next of Kin Have to be a Relative?

Yes, a next of kin should be related to the deceased by blood, marriage or another bond like adoption. It’s good to keep in mind that foster children and stepchildren may be unable to fall into this category.

When Can a Next of Kin Be a Non-Relative?

If an individual wants a non-relative to inherit their assets, they need to name them as beneficiaries in their will. If there is no next of kin, the state may claim the assets and use them to pay off any debt the deceased had.

When Can a Next of Kin Be a Non-Relative?

What Are the Rights and Responsibilities of a Next of Kin?

If you are someone’s next of kin, you have certain rights and responsibilities to make decisions on behalf of your family member. You have three main rights, including:

  • Making funeral arrangements: This right lets you have the final say regarding funeral decisions.
  • Obtaining a letter of administration (LOA): This letter grants you permission to be the administrator of an estate and control the deceased’s assets.
  • Making medical decisions: If you are the next of kin to someone who is incapacitated and without advance medical directives, you may have the right to decide treatments, health care and emergency care.

As a next of kin, you may also have the following responsibilities:

  • Acting as a point of contact: This means you need to respond to medical, legal and personal questions about your deceased family member.
  • Doing probate filing: You will be responsible for initiating the probate process.
  • Identifying and distributing assets: You must research and keep track of the deceased’s valuable assets, debts and finances and then distribute them according to your state law.

How Do Inheritance Proceedings Affect a Next of Kin?

In addition to becoming the administrator of your relative’s estate, the inheritance proceedings involve you gaining ownership of their estate property. Whether your relative passed away with or without a will, their assets must go through probate court to name the administrator. As a next of kin, you may gain this responsibility through an LOA to take charge of the distribution process.

Is the Next of Kin Responsible for Managing Assets and Settling Debts?

Yes, the next of kin will need to manage and distribute estate assets. This duty also involves settling the deceased’s debts. This process includes distributing or selling the estate assets and using the money to pay off any remaining debts.

Can a Next of Kin Inherit Debt?

Sometimes, the next of kin may inherit the deceased’s debt based on how they owned it. Here are a few examples of when you might inherit debt:

  • You have a joint account, such as a joint credit account with the deceased, or you co-signed a credit card or loan agreement that leaves you responsible for payments if the other person dies.
  • You inherit a house with outstanding mortgages.
  • You are married and live in a community property state that requires you to handle your deceased partner’s debt.

Can a Next of Kin Inherit Debt?

Why Partner With Inheritance Funding Company as Next of Kin

Are you the next of kin to a deceased family member? If you recently found out that you may inherit debt and lack the money to take care of it, our experts at Inheritance Funding may be able to help you.

How Can Inheritance Funding Help With Inherited Debt?

Some probate processes can take up to a year, while others may take several years before you can receive your inheritance money. This means years before you can pay off your inherited debt.

Fortunately, Inheritance Funding offers a valuable way to pay off your debt before you receive your inheritance money. We allow you to do so simply by providing a speedy inheritance cash advance. When the estate is ready to distribute, our repayment amount goes directly to us without any action, hidden fees or monthly payments required from you.

Our experts can get your application “reviewed, approved and funded all in the same day,” as one of our over 20,000 clients stated.

How to Proactively Plan and Prepare for Next-of-Kin Duties

As a final point of advice, here are some useful tips to protect yourself as you venture through your newfound responsibilities:

  • Understand your rights and responsibilities by speaking with the relevant professionals.
  • When making critical asset distribution decisions, consider what’s best for everyone involved.
  • Communicate clearly with loved ones while being compassionate about their situation to reduce conflicts regarding the distribution of assets.
  • For more information regarding how estate planning works, Inheritance Funding is always ready to assist!

Navigate Your Next of Kin Responsibilities With Inheritance Funding

If you’re next of kin to a family member, you’ll have important responsibilities ahead, including making funeral arrangements, distributing assets and making medical decisions. Whether you need money to arrange the funeral or pay your inherited debt, Inheritance Funding offers a quick and easy way to improve your financial situation.

We’ll take the time to understand your unique situation, review which inheritance cash advance option suits you best and send your advance right away. Unlike inheritance loans that include interest rates and credit checks, our inheritance cash advance is without hassle or risk. For a fast and reliable advance, request a free quote, or contact our professionals for more information today!

Navigate Your Next of Kin Responsibilities With Inheritance Funding