Without exception, everyone is entitled to create a will in order to dispose of their property as they wish. Even though many people assign great importance and spend a majority of their lives accumulating wealth and assets, individuals in great numbers every year pass away without a basic will document in place. Individuals who pass away without a will are said to have died intestate. Every year, our firm represents hundreds of clients who have experienced the loss of a loved one and unfortunately, we still find many people die intestate.
When an individual dies without a will, their assets are distributed according to the Florida Statute Chapter 732, which dictates how an intestate estate is to be distributed. According to Florida Statute §732.102, if a decedent had no children or shared children with their spouse, the spouse is entitled to the entire intestate estate. If the decedent had children from another relationship, the surviving spouse would only be entitled to half of the estate. Additionally, those children would be entitled to split the other half of the estate.
If a person dies without a spouse or children, both parents of the decedent, or the survivor of them if one has passed, will inherit the estate. If both parents have passed away, the estate will be split between the decedent’s siblings. If any children or siblings of the decedent will inherit the estate, any descendants of deceased children or siblings will also be entitled to inherit the estate, as all inheritance is per stirpes according to Florida Statute §732.104.
Florida Statute §732.103 delves further into a decedent’s family tree to designate groups of relatives who may inherit the estate. However, if there are no beneficiaries, or no one can be located, the decedent’s estate will escheat to the state of Florida, which will then sell the property for the benefit of the Florida School Fund.
Contact Our Compassionate & Dedicated Probate Lawyers in Fort Myers Today
If you do not wish to have the decision of who should inherit your estate determined by the courts, this does not have to be the case. Our expert legal team at Powell, Jackman, Stevens & Ricciardi, P.A. will help you resolve all of your life matters, including drawing up a will to assure your family’s future is protected. If your relative died intestate and you are unsure of your standing, don’t hesitate to contact our office for a free consultation.
Call (239) 970-6844 at your earliest convenience to schedule an initial case evaluation.