Understanding Florida Inheritance Rights

Home 2When a loved one passes away, it can be difficult to deal with the various steps that need to be taken. Handling issues related to inheritance can be difficult in the best of times, but it can be overwhelming while you are also grieving the loss of your loved one. Understanding the various inheritance laws and rights in the state of Florida will help ensure you know what to expect and that everything will go as smoothly as possible.

Was There an Estate Plan?

If your loved one had a comprehensive estate plan in place, the inheritance process will be quite simple. All the assets will simply be distributed according to the way the plan was set up. For example, many of the assets will likely be held in a legal Trust, which will have the ownership put into the name of an heir. In many cases all, or at least most, of the assets will be able to be easily transferred to loved ones according to the wishes of the deceased.

Just a Will?

It is not uncommon for people to pass away with only a Will in place giving instructions on what should happen to their estate. While a Will is definitely important, it will still require that the estate pass through Probate Court prior to being distributed to loved ones. If the Will names someone as the executor of the estate, they will be responsible for gathering the various assets together, determining their value, and taking care of them until they can be distributed. If no executor is named, the courts will name one. Probate Court will also be responsible for making sure any outstanding debts are paid out by the estate before anything is distributed to heirs.

No Will or Incomplete Will

If there is no Will in place, or it is incomplete or outdated, then the courts will determine who gets what. The estate will pass on to close relatives based on Florida law, which identifies a series of relatives that will potentially inherit the estate if nobody else can be found. If the deceased was married, their assets will go to the living spouse. If they aren’t married, the assets will be split between living children. If there are no children, things will go to the deceased parents, and then siblings. The courts can continue to look for more distant relatives if it is necessary to find someone who can inherit the estate.

Our Team is Here for You

If you need help serving as executor of estate or you want to protect your legal interests in an inheritance, you will need an attorney. ProActive Legal Care has been helping people in Florida with all their estate planning and probate needs for years, and we would be honored to help you next. Please contact us to discuss your options today.

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