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Gainesville Florida Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog

Monday, June 20, 2016

Dying Without a Will

While the recent deaths of several celebrities – most notably Prince – have brought much media attention to the problems that occur when someone passes away without a will, the issue is not limited to people of great wealth.

Commonly known as dying intestate, when someone passes away without a will, it becomes the responsibility of the court to determine what to do with that person’s estate.

In Florida that usually means your assets go to your closest relatives. There are very specific guidelines. For example, if there are children but no spouse, the children get everything. If there is a spouse but no descendants, the spouse gets everything. That seems simple enough, but after that it gets very complicated. Plus there are issues dealing with which assets fall under intestate succession and which don’t.

The result can often mean bitter fighting among surviving family members, something we all want to avoid.

So whether you have an estate the size of Prince’s or not, you should take the time to get with an estate planning attorney and make sure you have a will that is considered legal under the laws of the state of Florida.


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