The loss of a loved one in Florida is almost always a traumatic experience, no matter the circumstances. Your hope becomes that trauma is not further compounded from tension arising over the disbursement of your family member’s or friend’s estate. A will can typically eliminate any such tension (as it specifies your loved one’s final wishes).
Yet what if they died without a will? Many in this situation become understandably concerned that this will lead to discord among potential heirs (as they argue over who gets what). However, you need not stress over this concern; when a person dies intestate (without a will), it is the state that determines the dispersal of their assets.
Intestate succession guidelines in Florida
Indeed, you can review Florida’s intestate succession guidelines in Section 732.102 of the state’s statutes. Here it states that if your loved one died without a will and left behind a spouse, their spouse would receive their entire estate if they either had no direct lineal descendants or those descendants they do leave behind are also those of the surviving spouse. The spouse’s share of the estate reduces to one-half if your loved one’s descendants are not the biological or adoptive descendants of the spouse, or the spouse also has descendants that are not descendants of the decedent.
Others entitled to assets under intestate succession
If your loved one did not leave behind a surviving spouse, their intestate estate would descend as follows:
- To their direct descendants
- To their parents (in equal portion)
- To their siblings (and their descendants)
- To their paternal and maternal kindred (in equal portion)
- To the surviving kindred of the decedent’s spouse
You can learn more about the probate and estate administration process by continuing to explore our site.