Anchorage, AK asked in Divorce and Estate Planning for California

Q: Is the ex-wife next to kin?

My boyfriend passed away. The police identified my boyfriend’s mom as next to kin. She was able to plan for the funeral and handle his finances. Now my boyfriend's ex-wife is claiming she’s next to kin. She wanted to hear from police that he passed away but the police dept. never called her back. Is the ex-wife next to kin?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman

A: Your boyfriend's mother is his next of kin. Not his ex wife, because she is his ex wife. A divorce breaks the legal relationship of husband and wife. I assume you are asking out of general curiosity. What happens to.your boyfriends estate (his stuff) is not your business just as it it's none of his ex wife's. It's his moms and her alone.

I'm sorry he's passed on..May he rest in peace.

1 user found this answer helpful

Howard E. Kane
Howard E. Kane
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Oakland, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: If your boyfriend passed without a will, then his estate should be distributed through the laws of intestate Succession found in Probate Code section 6400 - 6414. Under no circumstances is your boyfriend's ex-wife (assuming they were actually divorced) considered next of kin.

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