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If I Die Without a Will, Who Inherits?

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If I Die Without a Will, Who Inherits?

A frequent question is: what happens to my property if I don't have a will? A will directs the transfer of assets that were in the deceased person's name alone. So if assets are titled in joint names with right of survivorship, or as husband and wife, or provide pay on death to a named beneficiary, those assets are affected by a will only when the joint owner or beneficiary does not survive.

For assets in the decedent's name alone, and located in Florida, I have printed below the Florida statute which directs disposition to family members other than a spouse.

To find out what a spouse receives please see my blog "What Will the Surviving Spouse Inherit in Florida?"

For assistance in preparing your will, trust, and estate planning, please call me at (305) 444-4042.

Florida Intestate Laws

  1. Share of other heirs

The part of the intestate estate not passing to the surviving spouse under s. 732.102, or the entire intestate estate if there is no surviving spouse, descends as follows:

  • To the descendants of the decedent.
  • If there is no descendant, to the decedent's father and mother equally, or to the survivor of them.
  • If there is none of the foregoing, to the decedent's brothers and sisters and the descendants of deceased brothers and sisters.
  • If there is none of the foregoing, the estate shall be divided, one-half of which shall go to he decedent's paternal, and the other half to the decedent's maternal, kindred in the following order:
  • To the grandfather and grandmother equally, or to the survivor of them.
  • If there is no grandfather or grandmother, to the uncles and aunts and descendants of deceased uncles and aunts of the decedent.
  • If there is either no paternal kindred or no maternal kindred, the estate shall go to the other kindred who survive, in the order stated above.
  • If there is no kindred of either part, the whole of the property shall go to the kindred of the last deceased spouse of the decedent as if the deceased spouse had survived the decedent and then died intestate entitled to the estate.
  • If none of the foregoing, and if any of the descendants of the decedent's great-grandparents were Holocaust victims as defined in s. 626.9543 (3) (a), including such victims in countries cooperating with the discriminatory policies of Nazi Germany, then to the descendants of the great-grandparents. The court shall allow any such descendant to meet a reasonable, not unduly restrictive, standard of proof to substantiate his or her lineage. This subsection only applies to escheated property and shall cease to be effective for proceedings filed after December 31, 2004.

For assistance with probate administration or estate planning, do not hesitate to contact me.

Categories: Probate, Wills and Trusts

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a living will and a power of attorney? A living will is a legal document that states what type of medical care you wish or do not wish to receive should you become unable to voice your opinions. A power of attorney is a document that you write that appoints someone to make medical decisions on your behalf.
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