When you work hard your entire life and accumulate wealth, you want to ensure that your assets will pass down to the people and causes you are passionate about when you die. And one of the most effective ways of achieving this is by creating a will.
However, it is not uncommon for some Floridians to die without a will. This is known as dying intestate. So who takes over your estate if you die without a will in Florida?
Understanding the basics of Florida intestate laws
If you die without a will in Florida, it will be up to the state’s intestate laws to determine what happens to your estate. In some cases, this is a pretty straightforward process, especially where there is just one individual who qualifies to inherit the intestate property. However, this is not always the case. Here is how intestate property is distributed in Florida:
- If you are survived by children but no spouse or legal partner, the children will inherit everything eligible
- If you are survived by a spouse but with no children or grandchildren, the spouse will inherit everything eligible
- If you are survived by parents but no spouse or children, the parents will inherit everything eligible
- If you are survived by siblings but no spouse, children or parents, the siblings will inherit everything eligible
So what property is affected by Florida intestate laws?
Not all assets will pass on to your family through Florida’s intestate laws. Rather, only those that would be included in a will, had the decedent created one, will be subject to intestate succession. Some of the assets that are not subject to intestate succession include:
- Assets that are held in a trust
- Jointly owned property with right of survivorship
- Life insurance proceeds
- Retirement accounts
Protecting your interests
Intestate laws can be quite complex. Learning more about Florida wills laws can help you take control of your estate’s future when you are no longer around to make important decisions.