Who Are Next Of Kin In North Dakota?

Next of kin for purposes of intestate succession in North Dakota include the:

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

Any part of a decedent’s estate not effectively disposed of by will passes by intestate succession to the decedent’s next of kin heirs under North Dakota intestate succession law.  N.D. Cent. Code §30.1-04-01.  An estate is considered intestate when decedent died with no valid will, or when a will is partially invalid.  Read about the doctrine of partial invalidity in North Dakota here.

What Next of Kin Inherit Under North Dakota Intestate Succession Law?

The next of kin heirs that inherit from a decedent’s intestate estate in North Dakota depend on the decedent’s other survivors.  The closest relatives and the surviving spouse inherit from the intestate estate prior to more remote relatives.

Survivors Of Decedent

Share Of Intestate Estate

Surviving spouse, no descendants or parents

–          Spouse inherits entire intestate estate

Surviving spouse and shared descendants, and spouse has no other descendants

–          Spouse inherits entire intestate estate

Spouse and parents, no descendants

–          Spouse inherits the first $300,000 of the intestate estate, plus ¾ of the balance

–          Parents inherit remaining balance

Surviving spouse and shared descendants, and spouse has surviving descendants from another relationship

–          Spouse inherits the first $225,000 of the intestate estate, plus ½ of the balance

–          Descendants inherit remaining balance

Surviving spouse and descendants, one of whom is not also a descendant of the surviving spouse

–          Spouse inherits the first $150,000 of the intestate estate, plus ½ of the balance

–          Descendants inherit remaining balance

Descendants, no surviving spouse

–          Descendants inherit entire intestate estate by representation

Parents, no spouse or descendants

–          Parents inherit the entire estate

Siblings, no spouse, descendants, or parents

–          Siblings inherit the entire estate

Grandparents, no spouse, descendants, parents, or siblings

–          Half of intestate estate to paternal side, and other half to maternal side

Descendants of last deceased spouse, no spouse descendants, parents, siblings, or grandparents

–          To descendants of last deceased spouse or spouses by representation

North Dakota’s intestate succession laws can be found at N.D. Cent. Code § 30.1-04-02 and 30.1-04-03.

What Do Next Of Kin Intestate Heirs Inherit Under North Dakota Law?

Next of kin intestate heirs inherit from the probate estate, which contains the decedent’s probate assets.  Probate assets are items that do not pass by titling, beneficiary designation, or operation of law at death.  Non-probate assets include assets such as bank accounts with a designated pay-on-death beneficiary, assets in a revocable trust, and most life insurance proceeds.  To learn more about probate vs. non-probate assets, see Probate and Non-Probate Assets Chart.

North Dakota Has a Survivorship Requirement For Intestate Heirs

In order for a next of kin intestate heir to inherit from a decedent’s estate, the heir must survive the decedent by 120 hours.  North Dakota Century Code section 30.1-04-04 states that for purposes of intestate succession:

An individual who was born before a decedent’s death but who fails to survive the decedent by one hundred twenty hours is deemed to have predeceased the decedent. If it is not established by clear and convincing evidence that an individual who was born before the decedent’s death survived the decedent by one hundred twenty hours, it is deemed that the individual failed to survive for the required period.

What If There Are No Next Of Kin Heirs To Inherit The Decedent’s Estate?

If there are absolutely no next of kin heirs in existence to inherit from a North Dakota decedent’s intestate estate, North Dakota’s “no taker” rule applies.  Under the no taker rule, the intestate estate passes to the state of North Dakota for the support of the common schools.  See N.D. Cent. Code §30.1-04-05.

A North Dakota probate lawyer can help you determine your status and rights as next of kin.

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