Murder bars inheritance

There are a few ways you can be disqualified from inheriting money or property from someone’s estate. The biggest one is if you caused the death of the decedent, i.e., if you murdered them.

New York State law prohibits a person from profiting from the death of another if that person murdered them. This law was reaffirmed back in December 2013. It stemmed from a case where a mother murdered her children and what was at stake was whether she was entitled to receive any proceeds from a wrongful death case involving her kids. The court ruled that the mother should not share in the equity due to an act she knew was wrong.

On another related note, if a murderer is part of a joint bank account, they cannot inherit the account if they murder the co-owner of the account and are convicted of murder in the 1st or 2nd degree of that co-owner. Disqualification also applies if a person abandons a spouse or their children or fails to provide for minor children. Also, New York State has what is informally referred to as Son of Sam Law. That law disqualifies a person from monetarily profiting from any felony for which they have been convicted.