Time waits for no one, and death can happen at any time. Why leave one’s heirs or loved ones with questions as to what to do with your estate? When someone dies without a will, intestate succession laws come into play. Those laws can be very complicated, and the results may not necessarily be aligned with what you would have wanted if you’d made a will outlining your wishes and desires.
Individuals die without having ever drafted a will here in Miami every day. The assets left in their estate end up getting passed on to their loved ones per Florida intestate succession laws.
If an individual has both a spouse and direct descendants at the time of their death, then their assets will generally end up getting passed on just to their husband or wife when they die. This is generally what happens when a decedent in Florida dies without a will in place.
Only 50% of the assets that are left in a married decedent’s estate will generally be allowed to go to their surviving spouse. The remaining 50% of the assets will generally go to the decedent’s other nonspouse descendants.
Individuals who don’t have any surviving spouse when they pass away may end up with 100% of their estate going to their descendants with the closest relatives getting first dibs.
Any decedent who doesn’t have any descendants will generally have their estate’s assets go to their parents. Each one generally inherits equal shares of the estate. If the decedent only had one surviving parent at the time of their death, then that mom or dad can inherit 100% of the estate.
If a decedent has neither a will nor any surviving parents or descendants at the time of their death, then 100% of their estate will go to their siblings or their kids.
Individuals who die without any children, parents, siblings or nieces and nephews here in Florida may have 50% of their estate go to both their paternal and maternal families.
As you can see, dying without a will or details about your final wishes leaves behind a complicated scenario that only the legal system can hash out. An attorney can help you draft a will to keep this from happening. Your lawyer can also aid you in sorting out things if you’re an executor for someone who died without a will.