If you are a Florida resident and die without a will, the Florida legislature has written one for you in Chapter 732 of the Florida Statutes.
If you are married and have no descendants surviving, your spouse gets the entire estate (Fla. Stat. 732.102). Or, if you are married and are survived by one or more descendants, all of whom are also descendants of the surviving spouse, and the surviving spouse has no other descendants, the surviving spouse gets the entire estate.
If there are one or more surviving descendants of the decedent who are not lineal descendants of the surviving spouse, the spouse receives one-half of the estate.
If there are one or more surviving descendants of the decedent all of whom are lineal descendants of the surviving spouse, and the surviving spouse has one or more descendants who are not descendants of the decedent. One-half of the intestate estate goes to the surviving spouse and one-half to the decedent’s lineal descendants.
Florida Statute 732.103 sets out how the share of other heirs is distributed. Florida Statute 732.105 provides that when property descends to the collateral kindred of the deceased, and some are related by whole blood and some by half blood, those of half blood take only half as much as those of whole blood.
Florida Statute 732.106 provides that an heir conceived before death but born after the death inherit intestate property the same as if they were born in the decedent’s lifetime.
Florida Statute 732.107 provides that when a person dies without a will and without being survived by any person entitled to it, that part escheats to the State for the State School Fund.
Florida Statute 732.108 covers inheritance by adopted persons and persons born out of wedlock as follows:
(1) For the purpose of intestate succession by or from an adopted person, the adopted person is a descendant of the adopting parent and is one of the natural kindred of all members of the adopting parent’s family, and is not a descendant of his or her natural parents, nor is he or she one of the kindred of any member of the natural parent’s family or any prior adoptive parent’s family, except that:
(a) Adoption of a child by the spouse of a natural parent has no effect on the relationship between the child and the natural parent or the natural parent’s family.
(b) Adoption of a child by a natural parent’s spouse who married the natural parent after the death of the other natural parent has no effect on the relationship between the child and the family of the deceased natural parent.
(c) Adoption of a child by a close relative, as defined in s. 63.172(2), has no effect on the relationship between the child and the families of the deceased natural parents.
(2) For the purpose of intestate succession in cases not covered by subsection (1), a person born out of wedlock is a descendant of his or her mother and is one of the natural kindred of all members of the mother’s family. The person is also a descendant of his or her father and is one of the natural kindred of all members of the father’s family, if:
(a) The natural parents participated in a marriage ceremony before or after the birth of the person born out of wedlock, even though the attempted marriage is void.
(b) The paternity of the father is established by an adjudication before or after the death of the father. Chapter 95 shall not apply in determining heirs in a probate proceeding under this paragraph.
(c) The paternity of the father is acknowledged in writing by the father.
If you do not want the provisions of Florida’s intestate laws to apply to your estate, you can prevent them from applying by having an attorney prepare a Last Will and Testament for you to sign.