What happens to your property if you do not have an estate plan?

On Behalf of | May 16, 2020 | Estate Planning

When you fail to plan for your death, the state will step in and handle things for you. Intestate laws are those that determine where your estate goes if you left no instructions. These laws can get quite complicated, depending on your family structure. It is always better to create an estate plan so that you can oversee who gets what.

It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the intestate laws as this will help you to know what could happen without proper planning or should there be an issue in probate that challenges your estate plan.

Your spouse

The Florida Statutes explain that if you have a spouse at the time of your death, then he or she will get at least half of your estate. If you have children, they will get the other half, evenly divided between them. If your spouse is also the parent of your children, then your spouse will get the full inheritance.

However, if your spouse has children from another relationship in addition to children with you, which are your only children, your spouse will only get half of your estate with the rest reserved for the children you have together.

No spouse or children

If you do not have a spouse and do not have children, then the court will equally divide your estate between your parents. If your parents are no longer living, your siblings are next in line, but if you do not have siblings, then the court divides your estate with half going to your mother’s surviving family and the other half going to your father’s surviving family.

No family

In a situation where you have no surviving relatives, anyone who can prove they have some relationship to you can make a claim on your estate. the closeness of the relationship does not matter as much as the validity of the proof of kinship.