Estate Planning & Probate Lawyer, Fort Lauderdale, FL

What Happens If You Die Without a Will in Florida?

Fort Lauderdale attorney Geoff Levy explains Florida intestacy law

Dying without a will, known in legal terms as “dying intestate,” triggers a specific legal process in Florida that determines how your estate will be assessed and distributed. Court proceedings can be a long, confusing, and expensive process that can siphon assets from an estate until there are none left for loved ones and beneficiaries. It doesn't have to be this way. In Florida, you can protect your legacy with an effective, legally concrete estate plan.

At The Levy Firm PLLC in Fort Lauderdale, we take the time to get to know our clients and their goals. This allows us to draft customized legal documents ensuring things are done the right way: your way. If you have assets and loved ones you want to protect no matter what life brings, contact us for a confidential free consultation.

Florida intestacy law

When an individual dies without a will, Florida relies on intestacy law and probate court to dictate the distribution of assets based on familial relationships. The outcome may not align with your preferences. Although there may be exceptions, generally, this is the hierarchy of inheritance in Florida:

  • Spousal Inheritance. If you have a surviving spouse but no descendants, your spouse inherits the entire estate. If you have a surviving spouse and descendants from you and that spouse, your spouse receives a lump sum from the estate plus half of the remaining balance, with the descendants sharing the rest.
  • No Surviving Spouse. If you have descendants but no surviving spouse, your descendants inherit the entire estate, divided equally among them.
  • No Surviving Spouse or Descendants. The estate may pass to other relatives, such as parents, siblings, or more distant relatives, depending on the familial relationships.
  • No Surviving Relatives. If there are no surviving relatives, your estate may escheat to the state of Florida.

Intestate succession does not award assets to people who are not related to the decedent by blood, marriage, or adoption. That means to bequeath assets to a longtime partner, boyfriend, girlfriend, or another significant person in your life, you must have a valid will.

Stay in control to protect your legacy and loved ones

Understanding the consequences of dying without a will is often enough to get people thinking about safeguarding their future. The Levy Firm PLLC can help you draft a will that ensures greater control over the distribution of assets and that your wishes are honored.

Take the first step in securing your future. Contact estate planning lawyer Geoff Levy for a free consultation.

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Free Consultation. Contact Us Today.

If protecting your legacy and the financial security of your loved ones is a concern of yours, it’s a concern of ours. Let’s talk. Our law firm provides legal services in English and Spanish. Free consultations for new clients.

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