What happens when someone passes away without a will in Florida?

It is paramount to create essential estate planning documents as early as you can in life. Far too many Floridians delay this process because they think they have plenty of time. Unfortunately, life may not work out the way you plan. Death can strike at any moment, and when that happens, you want to make sure you have protected your loved ones with the proper estate planning documents. If you do not, then your loved ones will have a lot of legal obstacles to jump through to ensure your assets go to the right parties.

Intestacy succession

The Florida Probate Court has established intestacy succession laws when a last will and testament is not present. This code dictates who inherits what of the deceased’s estate. The most important players under this circumstance will be the surviving spouse and any children one or both of them had. In the event the couple had no children, then the spouse will receive 100 percent of the deceased’s estate. In the event there are children and no spouse, then the children will receive 100 percent. The state will divide the assets equally among the children.

When there is no spouse or children, then the court will look toward any surviving parents. If there are no parents, then the assets will go to the deceased’s siblings or the children of any siblings. If none of these parties are around, then half of the assets will go to the person’s maternal family while the other half goes to the paternal family. There may be a case where a person does not have any surviving family members. In this case, the assets will go to the State of Florida. The state will sell the items and maintain all proceeds. It is very rare for someone to not have any family, so it is in every Floridian’s best interest to create estate plans well in advance.