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Are your nephews and nieces your heirs?

On Behalf of | Feb 21, 2022 | Estate Planning |

You don’t have any children, but you and your spouse make a good living working in the tech industry. You decide to make an estate plan because you want to ensure that you have some say in what happens to your money and other assets if you were to pass away unexpectedly.

Because you don’t have children, you want to leave your assets to your nephews and your nieces. You know that estate planning is a way to pass your assets to your heirs, so do these young children count as your heirs?

They may be your next of kin

Generally, heirs are those who expect to inherit from you, and they simply include your children. But there are rules in place determining who counts as the next of kin if you don’t have any children. The general order is as follows:

  • Spouses
  • Children
  • Parents
  • Siblings
  • Nieces and nephews

If you don’t put an estate plan in place and you don’t have children, the only people who would automatically inherit next would be your parents. If they have already passed away before you, then your own siblings will take precedence. Your nieces and nephews would only naturally inherit your assets at that point.

Of course, you can certainly create an estate plan and make them your primary beneficiaries. You could leave everything to them and nothing to your parents or siblings. What you choose to do is up to you, but it’s just important to understand why this order matters and what legal steps you have to take to ensure that the people you want to get your assets are the ones who actually do so.