How are Estates Settled When There’s No Will?
When a person dies without a will, they are considered to have died “intestate.” This presents a variety of challenges, as there is no written record of how they would like their estate to be divided and handled upon their passing.
There are, of course, some types of property that do not pass through wills, including life insurance benefits, any assets held in a living trust, bank accounts, retirement accounts with designated beneficiaries, real estate and more. But for other types of assets, there are various laws in place that determine how estates will be divided in the event of an intestate death.
Here is a quick overview of intestate succession laws in Florida. Remember, these laws only govern situations in which the decedent has no will:
- If you die and have children but do not have a living spouse, your children inherit all of your assets.
- If you die and are married but have no descendants, your spouse gets all of your possessions.
- If you die with a spouse and descendants from you and that spouse, and your husband or wife has no additional children, the spouse receives all of your assets.
- If you die and have children from yourself and your surviving spouse, and the spouse also has children from another relationship, your spouse will be able to inherit one half of your assets and your descendants inherit the other half.
- If you die married and have children from you and someone other than your spouse, your spouse and descendants each inherit half of the property.
- If you die with parents but are not married and do not have children, your parents inherit everything.
- If you die unmarried and do not have children or surviving parents but have siblings, your siblings inherit everything.
If you have any questions about these intestate rules, contact a skilled Florida wills attorney with the Charles Law Office.