Most people understand the need to have a will. Even if you are just starting out and young, you have a few assets; therefore, it is important that you have a will. As you start a family or acquire an increasing number of assets, the need to have a will grows. Here are the most common questions we receive about wills:
What will happen if someone passes away without a will?
When someone dies without a will, that individual’s assets are probated according to the intestacy laws. Put plainly, the deceased individual’s assets are distributed according to Florida’s laws, provided that you are a resident of Florida, and not necessarily according to the wishes of the deceased.
The laws of every state vary, however, commonly, intestacy laws pass the money and additional assets to the spouse first. For instance, in Florida, if you’re married when you pass away and don’t have a will, your spouse inherits everything, unless you do not have kids together.
If someone passes away without a living spouse, their estate passes to the kids, if any, equally. If there isn’t a spouse or any children living, if a deceased child has any surviving children, it will those surviving grandchild. If there are no living grandchildren, it becomes a bit more complicated and remote aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, or cousins will end up inheriting your assets. Usually, there are attempts to find a living relative and pass the deceased’s estate to them.
If there aren’t any blood relatives, the estate will pass completely to the state.
What will happen after an individual who has a will dies?
Probate courts dispose of the assets according to the law and the last will. A will does not keep your assets out of probate. A will is an invitation to probate. Even if you have structured your assets to avoid probate, there is no guarantee that your plan will be successful. There may be other assets that you missed that will necessitate probate.
Does an individual need to have a minimum quantity of assets to make a will?
No—an individual may make a will to dispose of assets that are worth $10 or $10M. The distribution of these assets, of course, may have tax implications. For this reason, it’s vital to get a grasp of how inheritance is taxed while making your decisions about estate planning. It’s often smart to consult with an estate planning professional, particularly for complicated or large estates.
To discuss more information about Estate Planning, Probate, Medicaid, LGBTQ legal services; contact Blackburn Law Firm today at 727-826-0923.