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What happens if you don’t have a will

On Behalf of | Aug 2, 2022 | Estate Planning, Probate |

If a resident of the Fort Lauderdale area dies without a will, then Florida law will decide how the property of their estate will be divided. Like other states, Florida has a law that spells out how a resident of this state’s property will get divided if the person dies without a valid will. This is known as the law of intestate succession.

It is important to note that these laws do not just apply to situations where a person does not make out a will. They also apply if a court holds that the only will is invalid. They also apply if there is a will which does not cover the property in question.

On the other hand, these laws do not apply to property which passes outside of the court’s probate system. Property held in trust, certain jointly held real estate and other property, and life insurance and other beneficiary accounts usually will not be subject to these laws.

Florida law provides property will go to one’s spouse, family members

How Florida’s intestate succession laws will depend on a family’s situation.

Generally speaking, if the deceased was married at the time of their death, their surviving spouse will get at least half of the estate’s property. If the deceased person and the surviving spouse only had children with each other, the surviving spouse gets the entire estate.

When a person dies unmarried, all property will be divided among the person’s children or their children’s descendants. If a person dies unmarried and childless, then the property will go to other family members, such as parents and siblings.

A Florida estate which will pass by intestate succession can be complicated and can lead to disputes between family members. It may take the help of an experienced probate attorney to sort out.



Photo of Jennifer D. Sharpe