SENATE, No. 2583

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED MAY 21, 2018

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator† STEVEN V. OROHO

District 24 (Morris, Sussex and Warren)

Senator† JAMES BEACH

District 6 (Burlington and Camden)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senators Pennacchio, Weinberg, Codey and Diegnan

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Expands the law of intestate succession to include certain non-blood† heirs.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† As introduced.

††


An Act concerning intestate estates, amending N.J.S.3B:5-4 and supplementing Title 46 of the Revised Statutes.

 

†††† Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

†††† 1.††† N.J.S.3B:5-4 is amended to read as follows:

†††† 3B:5-4.† Intestate shares of heirs other than surviving spouse or domestic partner.

†††† Any part of the intestate estate not passing to the decedent's surviving spouse or domestic partner under N.J.S.3B:5-3, or the entire intestate estate if there is no surviving spouse or domestic partner, passes in the following order to the individuals designated below who survive the decedent:

†††† a.†††† To the decedent's descendants by representation;

†††† b.††† If there are no surviving descendants, to the decedent's parents equally if both survive, or to the surviving parent, except as provided in section 4 of P.L.2009, c.43 (C.3B:5-14.1);

†††† c.†††† If there are no surviving descendants or parent, to the descendants of the decedent's parents or either of them by representation;

†††† d.††† If there is no surviving descendant, parent or descendant of a parent, but the decedent is survived by one or more grandparents, half of the estate passes to the decedent's paternal grandparents equally if both survive, or to the surviving paternal grandparent, or to the descendants of the decedent's paternal grandparents or either of them if both are deceased, the descendants taking by representation; and the other half passes to the decedent's maternal relatives in the same manner; but if there is no surviving grandparent, or descendant of a grandparent on either the paternal or the maternal side, the entire estate passes to the decedent's relatives on the other side in the same manner as the half;

†††† e.†††† If there is no surviving descendant, parent, descendant of a parent, or grandparent, but the decedent is survived by one or more descendants of grandparents, the descendants take equally if they are all of the same degree of kinship to the decedent, but if of unequal degree those of more remote degree take by representation;

†††† f.†††† If there are no surviving descendants of grandparents, then the decedent's step-children or their descendants by representation;

†††† g. If there is no surviving descendant, parent, descendant of a parent, grandparent or descendant of a grandparent, or step-child or descendant of a step-child, and the decedent had a predeceased spouse or domestic partner who left a Last Will and Testament, then the decedentís estate passes according to the predeceased spouseís or domestic partnerís probated Last Will and Testament as if the decedent had predeceased his spouse or domestic partner.† If there is no surviving descendant, parent, descendant of a parent, grandparent or descendant of a grandparent, or step-child or descendant of a step-child, and the decedent had a predeceased spouse or domestic partner who died intestate and who is survived by one or more heirs as set forth in subsections a. through f. of the decedentís spouse or domestic partner who predeceased the decedent, the heirs of the decedentís spouse or domestic partner take equally if they are all of the same degree of kinship to the decedent, but if of unequal degree those of more remote degree take by representation.

(cf: P.L.2009, c.43, s.3)

 

†††† 2.††† (New section) The provisions of P.L.†††† ,† c.††††† (C.†††††††† ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) shall be applicable to property which has escheated to the State and is in the custody of the State as unclaimed property, in accordance with the "Uniform Unclaimed Property Act," R.S. 46:30B-1 et seq., prior to the effective date of this act and may be claimed by any heir pursuant to the provisions R.S.46:30B-77.

 

†††† 3.††† This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

†††† This bill would expand the law of intestate succession under N.J.S.3B:5-4 to include non-blood relatives of the decedent.† †††††

†††† Currently, under the provision of N.J.S.3B:5-4, the intestate shares of heirs other than a surviving spouse or domestic partner passes in the following order: (1) to the decedent's descendants by representation; (2) then the decedentís parent or the parentís descendants; (3) then to the decedentís paternal grandparents (maternal and paternal) or their descendants; or (4) then to the decedentís step-children or their descendants.† If there are no such heirs then the property transfers to the State under the "Uniform Unclaimed Property Act (1981),Ē R.S. 46:30B-1 et seq.††

†††† This bill would expand the current statute to provide for an estate where the decedent is not survived by any of the enumerated heirs currently in the statute. †The bill attempts to address this situation by providing that the estate would pass to the decedentís heirs by marriage. Under the bill, the intestate share would pass to the heirs of the decedentís spouse who predeceased the decedent. These heirs would take equally if they are all of the same degree of kinship to the decedent, but if of unequal degree those of more remote degree would take by representation.

†††† The bill would also provide that if the decedent had a predeceased spouse or domestic partner who left a Last Will and Testament, then the decedentís estate passes according to the predeceased spouseís or domestic partnerís probated Last Will and Testament as if the decedent had predeceased his spouse or domestic partner.

†††† The bill would apply retroactively to any estate, which has escheated to the State and is in the custody of the State as unclaimed property, in accordance with the "Uniform Unclaimed Property Act (1981),Ē prior to the effective date of this act and may be claimed by any heir pursuant to the provisions R.S.46:30B-77.