J. Kelly Kennedy, Attorney/CPA, PLLC

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Attorney and CPA

Shares of surviving spouse and laws of intestacy with no will

The reasons to arrange a will or an asset plan for after your life has come to pass has a lot of benefits. Whatever the specific reason, there are lots of reasons a person may want to look after their estate and their loved one's after they pass away. If there weren't reason enough, what can happen to one's assets and estate is not always desirable without an estate plan or will. Each state is different in their laws of intestacy when no will is in place.

In Florida, these laws are based on the 1990 Uniform Probate Code, and then add their own state's interpretation. For Florida spouses, this means that they could be entitled the entirety of their deceased partner's assets or a substantial part of it. If a person has children that they wish could benefit from an estate rather than a spouse, an estate plan would be best. Otherwise, children may not receive the amount one would have hoped after a parent passes away.

This is especially true for children living in separate household or children who have reached the legal age of adulthood. If one wishes that their parents would receive all or some on an estate, a will should be in order. This is because parents generally come last behind spouses and children. Also if a person does not have any descendants or surviving parents, it's possible that the estate could be manipulated more than necessary by the state.

Once the state gets their hands on a person's assets, it can be difficult to win it back. Without an estate plan or will, it can be almost impossible to determine the outcome of a deceased's assets. If one decides to fight the states allocation of assets, it could be tied up in estate law for months or even years. This can cost a person unnecessary time and money.

Source: estate.findlaw.com, "Understanding Intestacy: If You Die Without an Estate Plan," Accessed May 1, 2017

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