Donnelly Ritigstein Law Offices
Call for a Free Consultation
Toll Free 866-907-6368 Local 856-324-6147

What rights do New Jersey residents have when a spouse dies?

The way in which a state views the ownership of property can make a big difference in how that property is treated when an individual dies. In New Jersey, property owned by married people is subject to common law theories of ownership. This generally means that if a married person acquires a piece of property only in his or her name, then that piece of property shall be solely his or hers with regard to its distribution at the owner's death.

The loss of a loved one, especially a spouse, can be a very challenging time in a person's life. It can be incredibly frustrating for a person to see a loved one's assets carved up and distributed away based on the property and intestacy laws of the jurisdiction. For individuals who wish to proactively prevent their separate property from being denied to their spouses, estate plan strategies can be employed to see the property owners' intentions occur.

For example, a person may use a will or trust to ensure that a spouse receives separate property. Depending upon when the property was acquired, if the spouse was previously married, if the spouse has children and a variety of other factors, rules of intestacy may require property to go to different relatives. Inheritance rights can change depending upon the relationships that a person's deceased spouse had during a lifetime.

Spouses, children and other close relatives often have rights to inherit from their relations' estates. However, when an individual dies without an explicit estate plan in place, loved ones may find that their expected inheritances are not what they receive. Taking steps before to protect spouses' inheritances can help individuals overcome the property and intestacy laws that may otherwise govern the distribution of a decedent's estate.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Moorestown Office
212 West Route 38
Suite 200
Moorestown, NJ 08057

Map & Directions

Haddonfield Office
132 Kings Highway E
Suite 105
Haddonfield, NJ 08033

Map & Directions

Linwood Office
327 Central Avenue
Linwood, NJ 08221

Map & Directions

Cape May Court House Office
618 Route 9 South
Cape May Court House, NJ 08210

Map & Directions

Gloucester, Cumberland and Salem County Offices
57 Euclid St.
Woodbury, NJ 08096

Map & Directions

Back To Top