What happens if you die without a will?

Dec 07, 2022

When you have an estate plan, you have the opportunity to have the final say over certain critical matters in the future. This gives you the opportunity to decide what will happen to your personal property, your medical care and other sensitive issues that may arise. Creating an estate plan is an important step for all Florida adults, regardless of age, income level or heath status.

Life is unpredictable, and it is never too early to create an estate plan, starting with a basic will. If you pass away without a plan in place, what happens to your property may depend on state laws. In order to maintain control over your property and avoid an impersonal court from making decisions on your behalf, you would be wise not to delay in having the right protections and plans in place.

The intestate succession of property

If you die without having a valid will in place, your property will pass to others according to intestate succession rules. This means that the state will decide what will happen to your estate after your pass away, and it will base these decisions on the assumption of what the average person would likely decide for his or her property. The Uniform Probate Code may be the standard that determines how a court will distribute property.

The code assumes that the surviving spouse should receive the entire estate or a substantial portion of it in most situations, even if he or she does not have biological children with the deceased. However, there are times when the parents or the children of the decedent could have a claim to a portion of the estate as well. As you can see, intestate succession rules are complex, and family members could find themselves in a complex legal battle as they advocate for their desired outcome.

Control over your property

You do not have to wonder what will happen to your property after you pass away. By creating a will, you can protect your loved ones from complex legal and financial circumstances when trying to settle your estate. Drafting a will and other documents will prevent state laws from deciding what will happen to your assets and hard-earned wealth, and it will place the control over your property back in your hands. An assessment of your case will help you understand what details you should include in your will.

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