One of the reasons many people draw up a will is that they start to worry about what will happen if they die without one. If you die without a will, or “intestate,” in Florida, the state essentially has an estate plan set up for you to determine the distribution of your assets after death. However, this “plan” is not often what you would prefer for the specific distribution of your assets and wealth. If you want to know what happens when you die without a will in Florida, read on for an explanation of how your assets would be distributed. If you want to avoid this situation, schedule a meeting with The Millman Law Group to start drafting your will and other estate planning documents.
What Happens to Your Property?
If you die without a will and the property does not have a proper beneficiary designation, the property gets probated. The court supervises the probate to satisfy your debts, pay taxes, and distribute your property to the rightful beneficiaries.
Probate can take a couple of months if it goes through summary administration or six months to a year with a formal administration. In a formal administration, a personal representative is chosen to administer your assets.
If you create your will correctly, you are the person who designates your preferred personal representative.
Who Becomes Guardian of Your Children?
When you die without a will in Florida and have minor children to care for, the surviving biological parent will become the sole guardian. If no biological parents are surviving, a member of your family will petition the court to become the guardian.
Having a valid will ensures that you can choose the best guardian for your children. This can be especially useful in cases of divorce or blended families, where it may be easier for the child to remain with a step-parent than to be sent to a biological parent.
Who Inherits Your Property?
In Florida, there exists the Florida Intestacy Statute. The statute dictates who inherits your property when you die without a will. The first preference is the spouse. Whether your spouse inherits 100% or 50% of your assets is determined by whether there are children from different marriages. If your children are from the same marriage, or there are no kids, your spouse gets 100%. If there are children from another marriage, they receive 50% in equal parts, with your spouse receiving the other 50%.
If you are unmarried but have children, those kids receive everything. If you have no children, your parents inherit everything. Finally, if your parents are deceased, your siblings or their kids receive the inheritance.
Estate Planning Made Easy With Millman Law Group
Millman Law Group, PLLC is rare because it’s one of the only law firms that offer life planning in South Florida. From life care planning to the preparation of detailed estate plans, Millman Law Group has committed to serving Floridian elderly communities in Boca Raton, Palm Beach County, Ocean Ridge, Hillsboro Beach, and many other areas since 2018. Our dedicated team also specializes in special needs trusts and catering to any age demographic because we know for certain it’s never too early to start preparing you and your family for your future. For the latest news in estate planning and elder care law, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, and Pinterest. You can also contact us at 561-463-6480.