7 Views of Next of Kin – Who is supposed to be a next of kin?

A next of kin is the person who is most likely to inherit your assets if you pass away without a last will and testament. Let’s go down to it.

A lot of people don’t know this, but in some states, he or she can claim to be your brother even if they aren’t actually your brother.

Who is your next of kin?

Who is your next of kin? Your brother? Your sister? Your husband, wife, or partner? Or your cousin, maybe.

Well, here’s the thing: there’s no one universal definition of the phrase “next of kin.” And who is next of kin can depend on the situation and what part of the world you live in. Sometimes it means a person’s closest relative or legal heir.

Other times it means someone who has a legal right to act as an administrator or executor for another person’s property or estate following death.

In England and Wales, for example, your spouse or civil partner is not automatically considered your next of kin after you die – the title actually goes to parents and siblings before they go to spouses and children (and then other more distant relatives).

In Wales and Northern Ireland “next of kin” also refers to a person with parental responsibility for a child under 18 years old (in England this is called “parental responsibility”).

And because there are different definitions depending on where you are in the UK, people have ended up at odds over inheritance rights when someone dies without making a will that outlines how their assets should be distributed.

So, it can be important to clarify exactly what form “next of kin” takes in any given situation.

The next of kin (kinsfolk) aren’t always family members.

The next of kin (short for kinsfolk) aren’t always family members, and they’re not necessarily the closest relative.

A next of kin is the closest relative to a deceased person, whether it’s a spouse, parent, sibling, child (including adopted), grandchild, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece.

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If you want to find out who your next of kin is – or if you want to be someone’s next of kin – you need to work with your relatives or their lawyer.

If there’s no will or estate plan in place for them at the time of death – and even if there is one – they’ll have to determine who gets what from the estate.

In legal terms, Who is a next of kin?

In legal terms, the spouse or civil partner of the deceased is their next of kin, even if they had children.

In the absence of a spouse or civil partner, it may be a blood relative such as a child or parent. If there are no blood relatives to inherit, then other relatives will be considered next of kin automatically.

It is also important to consider that when someone makes a Will they can name an executor.

An executor is usually named in case the person who made the Will dies and they would like that particular person to take care of their estate in accordance with how they instructed them in the Will.

The term “next-of-kin” as a personal representative of an estate.

In some cases, the term “next-of-kin” is used to refer to a person who has priority to act as a personal representative of an estate when no will has been made.

He or she may also be entitled to bring certain types of legal action on behalf of the decedent’s estate or heirs.

These actions are called “wrongful death” actions and typically involve claims for medical malpractice, nursing home neglect, vehicular homicide, or other similar claims that arise from another’s negligence or carelessness.

In these situations, he or she usually stands in the shoes of their loved one and can seek compensation or damages sought by their deceased family member.

The surviving spouse or children are usually considered next of kin in wrongful death cases but sometimes parents can bring wrongful death claims if there are no surviving spouses or children.

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The term ‘next of kin’ is not defined under Canadian law but it is recognized by many institutions (for example insurance companies) and by public bodies such as hospitals where proof may be required for admission that you are indeed someone’s next of kin.

When there is no spouse or civil partner, the next of kin refers to blood relatives.

When there is no spouse or civil partner, the next of kin refers to blood relatives.

It starts with children and then goes down the list: grandchildren, parents, brothers and sisters, grandparents and uncles and aunts.

If you have no surviving blood relatives, your intestacy will go to the Crown (the state).

If there are no surviving relatives in the deceased’s immediate family, other relatives may be considered next of kin.

The person who is actually entitled to inherit a person’s property in the absence of a will is called the next of kin.

This does not always mean their closest blood relative, for example if the deceased had no children then their parents would be entitled to inherit before any other family member.

The courts decide who is next of kin, and they look at what kind of relationship existed between the person claiming to be next of kin and the deceased.

The courts also consider how close that family relationship was and if there were any legal responsibilities between them such as guardianship or power of attorney.

When someone makes a will, they can name an executor to manage their estate when they die.

When someone makes a will, they can name an executor to manage their estate when they die.

The executor is responsible for:

  • real estate assets collection and valuation;
  • paying off all of the debts, tax liabilities and expenses;
  • selling or distributing property according to the terms of the will.
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You can choose anyone you like as your executor – but it’s best to choose wisely. You should trust this person above all others with your affairs, both financial and personal.

In your will, you should also name at least one alternative person who would become executor if your first choice passed away before you did, or were unable or unwilling to act as executor when you die.

Next of kin as a person with specific rights and obligations regarding another person who has died

Next of kin is a legal term that describes a person with specific rights and obligations regarding another person who has died.

For example, the next of kin of someone who has died without leaving a will may have the right to inherit whatever property their relative owned. However, next of kin is not defined in any legislation in Canada.

The medical definition of next of kin is different from the legal definition.

In the medical context it is generally understood to be an immediate family member who can make decisions on behalf of another person if he or she becomes incapacitated due to illness or injury (also called an “agent for personal care”).

The popular understanding of next of kin refers to those closest relatives by birth or marriage – a spouse, children, parents or close relations such as siblings and grandparents.


In the end, most of these people are supposed to be your next of kin – especially if you don’t have a spouse or children.

It may not be who one would expect, but it makes sense given the importance of having someone who can be reached to make life-saving decisions on your behalf.

If you don’t have anyone listed in this capacity, however, now might be a good time to update your legal documents and change that.