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What happens if I die without a will?

When people pass away and have not put a will into place, something still must be done with their belongings and assets. Intestate succession is the term used for the disbursement of assets as performed by the state. It is done in a way that is dictated under the closest assumption of how the average person might distribute their remaining belongings.

However, no life is average, and many people may have very different intentions for where their priceless belongings end up. Even if it seems clear to the family where the belongings should go, especially in situations where there are special needs, it may surprise family members to know that without a will, no exceptions to the intestate succession plan will be made.

While each state may modify the general code known as the 1990 Uniform Probate Code, the underlying plan usually stays fairly basic. It only accounts for immediate family and adopted descendants and not extended family or nonfamilial relations. The spouse usually retains the largest share of any estate after debts and taxes, but that amount may vary based on the existence of surviving descendants or parents.

If you are concerned with the distribution of your material possessions, and you do not have an estate plan in place, even if you are not ill or knowingly approaching death, it is always wise to put an inheritance plan in place. This is especially true if an intestate succession would improperly do the job for you. A Florida estate-planning attorney may be able to help you put an indisputable plan in place.

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