What Happens if there is No Will, or an Incomplete Will?
It is not uncommon for individuals to pass away without a Will. When an individual does not have an estate plan, the property is passed "intestate." This means that instead of the individual directing who receives their property upon their death, Florida's statutes will control. Intestate situations can also arise if an individual fails to give all property away through their Will. Probate is still required and a personal representative will still be appointed by the court in most situations.
The first step is to contact a Probate Attorney who is able to assist you in filling out the necessary documents required to be submitted to the court. In most circumstances, Affidavit or an Oath will have to be filed with the court if proceeds will be distributed intestate, alongside other documents, establishing the individual's familial tree.
The Florida statutes direct property to certain family members or spouses, depending on who survives the individual. It is important to ensure all living family members are accounted for because the Florida statutes base who receives the property on their relationship to the individual. For instance, the first family member to take under intestacy is the individual's surviving spouse. If there's no surviving spouse, it moves to the children of the decedent. Then up and down the family line, depending on the specific family.
Intestate estates can quickly get complex or cause disputes among family members. It is typically advised that all individuals should have a will to prevent any issues. If your loved one has passed away without a Will, call the Law Offices of Rina Feld today.
This article is not intended to constitute legal advice nor create an attorney-client relationship.