Probate, trust, guardianship and inheritance litigation
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Who Are Next Of Kin In Idaho?

The terms “next of kin” and “heirs” are used synonymously in Idaho intestate succession law to mean “those persons, including the surviving spouse, who are entitled under the statutes of intestate succession to the property of a decedent.” Idaho Code §15-1-201(22).

Next of kin in Idaho include:

  1. Surviving spouse
  2. Children
  3. Parents
  4. Siblings
  5. Grandparents


What Next Of Kin Inherit Under Idaho Intestate Succession Law?

The next of kin that inherit under Idaho law depends on the other people that survived the decedent.

Survivors Of The Decedent

Share Of Intestate Estate

Surviving spouse only

–   Spouse inherits all separate property and all community property

Surviving spouse and parents only

–   Spouse inherits all community property

–   Spouse inherits one-half (1/2) of the intestate estate separate property

–   Parents inherit other ½

Surviving spouse and children

–   Spouse inherits all community property

–   Spouse inherits one-half (1/2) of the intestate estate separate property

–   Children and issue inherit other ½ by representation

Children only, no surviving spouse

–   Issue inherit intestate estate (if they are all of the same degree of kinship to the decedent they take equally, but if of unequal degree, then those of more remote degree take by representation)

Parents only, no issue or surviving spouse

–   Parents inherit intestate estate equally

Siblings, no surviving issue, parent, or spouse

–   Siblings inherit intestate estate

Grandparents or issue of grandparents only

–   half of the estate passes to the paternal grandparents if both survive, or to the surviving paternal grandparent, or to the issue of the paternal grandparents if both are deceased, the issue taking 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;

–   the other half passes to the maternal relatives in the same manner;

–   if there be no surviving grandparent or issue of grandparents on either the paternal or the maternal side, the entire estate passes to the relatives on the other side in the same manner as the half.

The Idaho intestate succession laws can be found in Idaho Code §15-2-102 and §15-2-103.

What Do Next Of Kin Inherit in Idaho?

Idaho next of kin inherit from a decedent’s intestate probate estate.  An intestate estate in Idaho is “any part of the estate of a decedent not effectively disposed of by his will…” Idaho Code §15-2-101.  An estate is intestate when someone dies with no valid will or if parts of a valid will are ineffective.

Non-probate assets are not controlled by Idaho’s intestate succession laws, and are not inherited by virtue of status as next of kin.  Non-probate assets include assets such as bank accounts with pay-on-death designations, assets held in a revocable trust, and life insurance benefits.  See the Probate and Non-Probate Assets Chart.

120 Hour Survival Requirement In Idaho

In order for a next of kin heir to inherit under Idaho laws of intestate succession, he or she must survive the decedent by 120 hours.  If not, the next of kin heir is treated as having predeceased the decedent.  Idaho Code §15-2-104 states:

Any person who fails to survive the decedent by one hundred twenty (120) hours is deemed to have predeceased the decedent for purposes of homestead allowance, exempt property and intestate succession, and the decedent’s heirs are determined accordingly. If the time of death of the decedent or of the person who would otherwise be an heir, or the times of death of both, cannot be determined, and it cannot be established that the person who would otherwise be an heir has survived the decedent by one hundred twenty (120) hours, it is deemed that the person failed to survive for the required period. This section is not to be applied where its application would result in a taking of intestate estate by the state under section 15-2-105 of this Part.

What Does It Mean To Inherit By Representation In Idaho?

The Idaho intestate succession laws sometimes provide that inheritance is by “representation.”  If representation is called for, the estate is divided into as many shares as there are surviving heirs in the nearest degree of kinship and deceased persons in the same degree who left issue who survive the decedent.   Each surviving heir in the nearest degree receives one (1) share and the share of each deceased person in the same degree is divided among his issue in the same manner.

For example, if Arthur died intestate survived by one son, Bob, and the issue of a deceased son, Carl, then Arthur’s estate would be divided into two shares — Bob would receive ½ of the estate, and Carl’s issue would share the other ½.

An Idaho probate lawyer can help determine the identity of next of kin heirs, and to what share of the estate each is entitled.