Here at Levins and Associates, L.L.C., we strongly encourage Lee County residents to begin the estate planning process early on in their lives. However, many people still come to us concerned about how an estate is administered when one dies without a will. If you recently had a loved one who died intestate (without a will), you could be facing a long and complicated process as his or her estate passes through probate. Understanding Florida’s laws regarding estate administration may help you through this ordeal.
Florida state statutes set forth a very clear standard when it comes to intestate succession. They state that if you are the spouse of the recently deceased, the entirety of his or her estate will pass to you if you have no living children or those who are still alive are the biological children of both you and your spouse. If you are not the biological parent of his or her children, half the estate will go to you, and the other half to them.
If you are the child of the deceased and your other parent is also dead, then the full amount of the estate goes to you and your surviving siblings. The same is true if one of your siblings passes away if both of your parents are deceased and your sibling had no wife or children of his or her own. If one of your unmarried children dies, his or her estate will go to you, as well. In the rare event that you have an extended family member that dies with no parents, spouse, or children, then the estate will be administered to you and other surviving aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.
Further information on dealing with estate administration can be found on our site.