SI NY01120.215 Inheritances (RTN 422 (02/2010)
A. Establishing Date of Receipt
1. New Jersey
Under New Jersey law, upon the death of an individual, his real or personal property passes to his heirs automatically and immediately, subject to the right of creditors and to the expenses of administration. The actual amount of the inheritance therefore depends on how much is left in the estate after payment of debts and expenses (see SI NY01120.215B.).
2. New York
Under New York law, upon the death of an individual, his real or personal property passes immediately to his heirs. The actual amount of the inheritance depends on how much is left in the estate after payment of debts and expenses (see SI NY01120.215B.).
3. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
Under Puerto Rican law, an inheritance includes all of the property, rights and obligations of a person which are not extinguished by death. Heirs succeed the deceased in all his rights and obligations by the mere fact of his death. However, inheritance rights are not automatically transmitted to the heir at the time of the decedent's death. The heir must expressly or tacitly accept the inheritance. Once given, the acceptance is retroactive to the moment of death of the person whose property is inherited. The inheritance would not be considered income per SI 00830.550B or subject to evaluation for transfer of a resource per SI 01150.001B.5. before the individual actually accepted the inheritance.
4. U.S. Virgin Islands
Under U.S. Virgin Islands law, real and personal property vests in the heirs immediately upon the death of an ancestor.
B. Valuation of an Inheritance
Determining the value of an individual's inheritance prior to the settlement of the estate may be difficult since the estate may need to liquidate the asset and/or use a portion of the heir's interest to cover the estate's expenses and obligations, which must be paid prior to distribution of the decedent's estate to his heirs. If the estate has little or no debt, the heir's interest may be easily determinable at the individual's date of death. But if the estate is heavily indebted or the amount of indebtedness is unknown, it may be impossible to determine the value of the heir's interest until the date the estate is closed. A contested will or a dispute over heirship may also make it difficult to value the heir's interest until the dispute is settled or the estate is closed.
Per SI 01120.215A.1. an inheritance cannot be considered a resource until the month following the month in which it meets the definition of income.
For questions relating to the valuation of an inheritance, or where the heir alleges he has disclaimed or renounced all or any portion of his inheritance, submit for a legal opinion pursuant to the procedures outlined in GN 01010.815.
SI NY01110.515 — Intestacy Laws
SI 00830.550 — Inheritances
SI 01120.215 — Inheritances and Unprobated Estates
SI 01150.001 — What is a Resource Transfer