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Who Are Next Of Kin In Michigan?

Under Michigan law, the term “next of kin” is synonymous with “heirs”, “heirs at law”, “relatives”, or “family” when used in an applicable statute or governing instrument. See section 700.2720 of the Michigan Estates and Protected Individuals Code.

Next of kin in Michigan are generally to following people, in the following order:

  1. Surviving Spouse
  2. Children or descendants
  3. Parents
  4. Siblings
  5. Grandparents or descendants of grandparents

What Next of Kin Inherit Under Michigan Law When There Is No Will?

When a decedent in Michigan dies without a will, their next of kin or heirs at law inherit their probate estate assets.  The next of kin that inherit depends upon what relatives survived the decedent.

Surviving next of kin 

Share of estate 

Surviving spouse, no descendant or parent

100% of intestate estate

Surviving spouse, and all descendants are also descendants of the surviving spouse

The first $150,000 plus 1/2 of any balance

Surviving spouse, no descendants but a parent of the decedent

The first $150,000 plus 3/4 of any balance

Surviving spouse, all descendants are also descendants of the surviving spouse, and surviving spouse has a descendant that is not a descendant of decedent

The first $150,000 plus 1/2 of any balance

Surviving spouse, and one or more of the decedent’s descendants are not descendants of surviving spouse

The first $150,000 plus 1/2 of any balance

Surviving spouse, and none of the decedent’s descendants are descendants of the surviving spouse

The first $100,000 plus 1/2 of any balance

Descendants, no surviving spouse

100% of intestate estate by representation

Parents, no surviving spouse, no descendants

Split equally or to surviving parent

Descendants of parents (siblings), no parents, no surviving spouse, no descendants

100% of intestate estate by representation

Grandparents or descendants of grandparents, no other survivors

  • 1/2 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;

  • other 1/2 passes to the decedent’s maternal relatives in the same manner.

  • 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 1/2.

The information in the chart above can be found in sections 700.2102 and 700.2103 of the Michigan Estates and Protected Individuals Code.

Survival Requirement For Next of Kin To Inherit

Under Michigan law, a next of kin or heir must survive the decedent for 120 hours.

If a next of kin fails to survive the decedent by 120 hours, the next of kin is considered to have predeceased the decedent for purposes of homestead allowance, exempt property, and intestate succession.  The next of kin are determined accordingly.  Section 700.2104 Michigan Estates and Protected Individuals Code.

What Does A Next of Kin Inherit From a Michigan Intestate Estate?

Just because you are a decedent’s next of kin and intestate heir does not mean that you will inherit anything from decedent’s probate estate.  One reason is because the decedent may not have had any probate assets.  All of decedent’s assets may have been non-probate, such as joint bank accounts, jointly owned real property, or bank accounts with beneficiary designations.  See the Probate and Non-Probate Assets Chart.

Sometimes, a decedent dies with a lot of creditors.  Creditors can receive payment from the decedent’s estate, thereby diminishing, or eliminating, the share of a next of kin beneficiary.

A Michigan probate lawyer can help you determine your status as next of kin and whether or not you will inherit from a decedent’s estate.

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