Esther-Channah (dragonbat2006) wrote in little_details,

Inheritance Law--United States (NY or NJ, present day)

I posted this at Fanfic Law, too... but that community seems pretty quiet lately. I Googled 'Inheritance Law United States intestate' and checked Wiki, but I have to admit, I'm no closer to an answer.

I'm wrapping up a Batman fanfiction. Gotham, being a fictional city, I have some flexibility, but I usually try to make the rules conform to either NY or NJ law unless it's a canon-trumps-RL situation.

I'm looking for one specific detail, just as a hypothetical aside, as we can be fairly sure that Bruce Wayne already has an excellent lawyer who has drawn up the most ironclad will possible. The context is that his one biological child is ramming said biological status down his three adopted brothers' throats, to the point where Bruce says "If I died intestate tomorrow, you do realize that everything I have would probably be divided..."

...And I'm stumped. How could the estate be broken up after the dust clears and the government/creditors get their shares? (The one thing I did glean from my searching is that the law isn't necessarily clear. I'll settle for plausible.)

The heirs are

1-A twenty-five year old, taken in as a legal ward at age nine, adopted at twenty-three, and very much a part of his father's life.

2-A twenty-one-year-old, adopted at age fourteen, believed dead at age
fifteen, found alive at nineteen but after announcing his survival, made
a near-total break with his father.

3-A twenty-year-old who was legally adopted perhaps a month prior to the
discussion taking place. (To clear up any confusion, she is not in the
vicinity when the biological child is lording it over the other siblings, but I don't want Bruce to ignore her existence in this hypothetical estate distribution

4-An eighteen-year-old adopted at age seventeen, currently living under
his father's roof

5-A ten-year-old born out of wedlock, biologically his--or at least, the
tests didn't show that he was not the father (I'm still foggy on whether
medical research can confirm paternity beyond a shadow of a doubt, or
whether they can simply indicate whether someone cannot possibly be the
father). Bruce did not know of the child's existence until six months
ago, and has had very little contact with the boy until now.

I would guess that the disposal of the estate would, IRL, be the subject
of a lengthy court battle, but since I just need this detail for a
throwaway line, what would the 'default' breakdown be? Five-way split?
Everything to the biological son? Something in the middle?

EDIT: Thanks all! I've got my answer!
Tags: ~inheritance

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