For the last several months, our series Legalese From A to Z has been walking you through the sometimes wacky, sometimes confusing world of legalese , the specialized language of law used by those in the legal field.
Letter by letter, we've been examining some important, interesting, or noteworthy bits of legalese. This week, we take a look at five legal terms that start with the letter "N":
- Next of kin. You may have heard the phrase "next of kin" in situations where a person has died without a will and that person's property will pass according to the laws of intestacy. But who is considered next of kin? Under the laws of most states, the next of kin is a spouse or domestic partner. If there is not a spouse or domestic partner, then the next of kin will usually be a person's children. If there are no children, the next of kin will typically be the first of any of the following blood relatives who are surviving: parents, then siblings, then grandparents, then aunts and uncles, and so forth. Depending on the laws in your state, relatives beyond a certain degree of remoteness may no longer be considered kin.