While many Florida residents choose to create estate plans to ensure their wishes are followed after their deaths, many others fail to make estate plans in time. When an estate plan is not in place, Florida inheritance laws govern the distribution of that individual's assets. Continue reading if you would like to learn more about what could happen to your assets if you fail to create an estate plan.
The Probate Code is the section of the Florida Statutes that governs the distribution of assets upon the death of a Florida resident. It can be found under Title XLII, which is the section on estates and trusts, in Chapter 732. The term "intestate succession" is used to refer to the law governing how assets are distributed when an estate plan is not in place.
For married decedents, there are four possibilities for the distribution of assets. First, if the decedent does not have any children, his or her spouse will receive the entire estate. Second, if the decedent and his or her current spouse have children, all of whom they share, his or her spouse will receive the entire estate. Third, if the decedent has children who are not shared with his or her spouse, the spouse will receive half of the estate. Finally, if the surviving spouse has children who are not shared with the decedent, along with children who are shared, that spouse will receive half of the estate.
If, after reading the above, you realize that Florida intestate succession law does not align with your wishes for your assets, you may want to consider creating an estate plan. With the help of an experienced attorney, you can learn more about inheritance law and create a plan that fits your family's needs. By having an estate plan in place, you can have peace of mind, knowing that your wishes will be followed.