Finding out your next of kin
If you're looking at making plans around your estate and what comes next, from writing a will to listing out your assets, the question is going to come up again and again - who is your next of kin? Essentially, this is a term that describes your closest living relative, by blood or by relationship.
That seems primarily straight forward. Your next of kin when you write your Will are likely to be:
- Your partner
- Your children
- Your parents
- Your siblings
Why does this matter?
In some circumstances, particularly when it comes to a Will being contested or when it comes to the decisions made by the executor, it will be important for the next of kin to be identified in order to recognise any decisions they might legally need to make.
While it's impossible to understand the full range of what that might be, it is important to note that your next of kin does hold an important legal place when it comes to your assets and your estate.
What happens if I don't have a Will?
In cases where people pass away without a Will (which is called dying intestate) the estate will largely go to the deceased's next of kin by default. This means that whoever is identified as your next of kin will by and large inherit your assets.
If you don't want that to be the case, or you want to make some more complicated and thoughtful plans around your assets, for example by looking after additional friends and loved ones or making charitable gifts, you will want to have a Will in place that directs your estate according to your best wishes.
Disclaimer: The content of this blog is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. This blog should not be relied upon as legal, financial, accounting or tax advice.