What Happens When You Pass Away Without A Will In Florida?

If you live in Florida and pass away without a will, then your assets will be distributed to your relatives under the intestate succession laws.

What are the assets that are included as intestate succession?

Many of assets that would have passed through your will, are affected by intestate succession.

These are mostly the assets that you own wholly, in your name.

Some of your assets may not be necessary to probate for your beneficiaries to receive them.

These could include:

  • Money in your 401ks, IRAs, and other retirement funds.

  • The decedent’s assets in a living trust.

  • Proceeds from your life insurance.

  • Property owned by you in a joint tenancy.

  • The securities held by you in a transfer-on-death account.

How are the assets distributed?

If you have died intestate (without a will), then your assets will be distributed in the following order of priority:

  • If you were survived by a spouse and have no other living descendants, then the spouse would receive all of the probate estate.

  • If you were survived by a spouse and one or more of your children in common, then the spouse will receive all of the probate estate.

  • If you were survived by a spouse, and the spouse has their own children from another relationship, then the probate estate will be passed half to the surviving spouse and half to their descendants.

  • If you were not married at the time of your death, then the property would be transferred wholly to your descendants. In case there is more than one descendant, then the property would be distributed equally amongst them.

  • If you were not married at the time your death and you do not have living descendants, then the property would pass on to your parents.

  • If you do not have any surviving close relatives mentioned above, then the property will pass to a distant relative.

Distributing the decedent’s assets under Florida’s intestate laws, as discussed above, is subject to certain home ownership exceptions. It also exempts certain personal property, and a statutory allowance to your surviving spouse and any of your children whom you support during your lifetime. Assets subject to these exemptions will pass in a manner different from the ones described in the intestate laws.

Will the state ever get your property?

If you die without a will and have no close or distant surviving relatives, then there is a chance that the state might take over your property. When this happens, the property will escheat into the state ownership. There are very remote chances of this occurring because, the Florida probate laws make sure that your property passes on to any of your remote or distant relatives that may be surviving.

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C. Alvarez Law

C. Alvarez Law is a Central Florida-based law firm that helps families find resolutions to their most complex family law issues. We are dedicated to providing the support and advice you need for a positive outcome and a better life. Before you can move on with your life, you need closure. Our firm is diverse, energetic, and passionate about delivering this for the clients who have placed their trust in us. Let’s work together today to find a better tomorrow.

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