Next Of Kin

DEFINITION of 'Next Of Kin'

A person's closest living blood relative. The next-of-kin relationship is important in determining inheritance rights if a person dies without a will and has no spouse and/or children. The deceased's estate becomes state property if no legal heir can be identified. The next of kin can also be called upon to make medical decisions for a person who has become incapacitated or to make funeral/burial arrangements.

BREAKING DOWN 'Next Of Kin'

Legal order of precedence determines who is considered next of kin. Children, parents, grandchildren and siblings are the most common next of kin under U.S. law.

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