What Happens if You Die Without a Will in Florida?
Planning for the future is a responsible and thoughtful act, and one essential aspect of this planning is creating a will. A will allows you to dictate how your assets will be distributed after your passing, ensuring that your loved ones are taken care of according to your wishes. But what happens if you die without a will in Florida?
Intestate Succession Laws in Florida
When a person dies without a valid will, they are said to have died “intestate.” In such cases, Florida’s intestate succession laws come into play. These laws outline how a person’s estate will be distributed among their heirs in the absence of a will. The specific distribution will depend on the deceased individual’s family situation.
Surviving Spouse and Descendants
If the deceased is survived by a spouse but no descendants (children or grandchildren), the surviving spouse typically inherits the entire estate. However, if a spouse and descendants survive the deceased, the distribution becomes more complex. In this scenario:
- The surviving spouse will inherit all of the deceased’s share of the estate if there are no descendants or if all descendants are also descendants of the surviving spouse.
- If there are descendants who are not descendants of the surviving spouse, the surviving spouse will receive half of the deceased’s share, and the other half will be distributed to the descendants.
No Surviving Spouse
The estate will pass to the deceased’s descendants if there is no surviving spouse. It will be divided equally among the descendants, with each child or grandchild receiving an equal share.
No Surviving Spouse or Descendants
If there are no surviving spouses or descendants, the estate will pass to the deceased’s parents if they are alive. If the parents are not alive, the estate will go to the deceased’s siblings or their descendants.
No Surviving Relatives
If there are no surviving relatives as defined by Florida’s intestate succession laws, the estate may ultimately escheat to the state of Florida.
Importance of Creating a Will
As you can see, dying without a will in Florida can lead to a distribution of your assets that may not align with your wishes. Creating a will allows you to have control over who inherits your assets and how they are distributed. It provides clarity and peace of mind to your loved ones during a challenging time.
Additionally, a will can address other important matters, such as naming a guardian for minor children, specifying funeral and burial arrangements, and even making charitable donations.
Contact Morgan Legal Group for Estate Planning Guidance
If you have not yet created a will, starting the estate planning process is never too late. At Morgan Legal Group in Miami, our experienced estate planning attorneys can provide you with the guidance and support you need to create a comprehensive estate plan that reflects your wishes and protects your legacy.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step toward securing your family’s future.