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What are the rules of intestacy in Florida?

On Behalf of | Jul 10, 2024 | Estate Administration |

In Florida, intestacy rules can be challenging to understand, especially during a difficult time. When a loved one passes without a will, these laws take effect to guide the distribution of the deceased’s assets.

In this blog, we’ll break down Florida’s intestacy laws to help readers understand who stands to inherit, how the process works and what to expect during estate administration. Whether you’re a spouse, child or other relative of someone who dies intestate, this information may help you face the path ahead with more confidence.

What happens when someone dies intestate?

In Florida, intestacy rules impact two tiers of inheritors or beneficiaries. The first tier includes the husband or wife, children and grandkids.

If there are no children or grandchildren, the surviving spouse will receive all of the estate. However, if the deceased have any lineal descendants, they will also get a share of the estate, even those unrelated to the surviving spouse.

If the deceased has no spouse, their children will receive the intestate estate. If they have grandkids, these descendants will also receive a share, even if their parents are already deceased.

Meanwhile, the second tier of beneficiaries includes the deceased’s parents and siblings. If the deceased was unmarried and had no kids, the executor distributes the assets to their parents.

The siblings will be next in line if there are no surviving parents. The executor may also distribute the share of a deceased sibling to their children if they have any.

If there is no surviving parent, sibling or descendant of a deceased brother or sister, the executor may divide the assets into two equal shares between the deceased’s maternal and paternal kindred.

How a lawyer can help

Seeking professional legal advice may be crucial during the administration of a loved one’s estate. Without a lawyer, disputes within the family may be challenging to resolve, which can lengthen the process.

Remember, while intestacy laws are designed to be fair, they may not always align with what your loved one would have wanted. Legal help can be essential during this process so you may honor the deceased’s wishes as best as possible within the confines of the law.