Revisions to Florida’s Intestacy Law That Could Affect Your Estate

If you fail to prepare a will, there may be a lot of confusion when you die and your wishes may not be carried out as you intended. Your best bet is to speak to an estate attorney in Fort Myers, Florida, to help you prepare a will. Your attorney can also explain recent changes to Florida intestacy law that could affect your estate.

For those unfamiliar with intestacy law, it's the law that governs what happens to your estate if you pass on without a will, of if you die "intestate
." Florida intestacy law is based on whether you have descendants and whether you are married.

Understand that intestacy law has changed significantly, effective Oct. 1, 2011.

Under revisions to the law, if a deceased's descendants are also descendants of the deceased's spouse and the spouse has no descendants who aren't descendants of the deceased, then the estate goes to the surviving spouse.

Understanding How Florida Intestacy Law Can Affect Your Estate

We know this can be a bit confusing, so consider the following in regard to intestacy law: 

  • If the deceased was not married when he or she died, then his or her descendants will get the entire estate. If there are no descendants, the deceased's parents, and so forth, will get the estate.
  • If the deceased was married but had no surviving descendants, then the surviving spouse gets the estate.
  • If the deceased has surviving descendants who are also descendants of the surviving spouse, and the surviving spouse has descendants who aren't descendants of the deceased, then the spouse gets half of the estate and the deceased's descendants get half.
  • If all of the deceased descendants are also the spouse's descendants, and the spouse has no descendants who are not descendants of the deceased, then the surviving spouse will get the estate.  

Given the complexity of Florida intestacy law, it would be in your best interest to avoid procrastinating about preparing a will. 

To protect your estate, you should speak to an estate attorney, in Fort Myers, Florida, to answer any questions or concerns you may have about estate planning
. Once you have a will, you can have peace of mind that your estate has a change of being handled with dignity and respect upon your demise.

Help from an Estate Planning Attorney in Fort Myers is Just a Phone Call Away

Fort Myers estate planning attorney Matthew A. Linde understands firsthand the importance of careful estate planning and the complexities of financial legal matters, such as probate, tax litigation and guardianship. For help with your Florida homestead concerns, contact our Fort Myers office to schedule a one-on-one meeting with a professional who can answer your questions - 239-939-7100 or 844-764-5492.