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If you do not make an estate plan or have a will, you are said to die intestate.  Dying intestate means that you are not going to get to decide what happens to all of the property and all of the assets which have become yours through the hard work you have done over the course of your life. If you do not want your legacy to be determined by the default laws set by the Florida legislature, you want to make sure that you take estate planning steps in advance. You should also know what the laws are for those who die intestate so you at least have an understanding of what could happen to your property if you pass away without a plan. Intestate

Barbara M. Pizzolato, P.A. can provide you with invaluable help understanding Florida’s laws on dying intestate. Our legal team provides assistance to clients who want to make a plan so they determine their own legacy, rather than letting Florida’s laws dictate what happens to their possessions.

We also provide help after a death occurs without a will. When a death happens and the deceased had no estate plan, we represent family members in or around Fort Myers who want to understand how intestate succession works.

Florida Laws on Transferring Property When Someone Dies Intestate

Florida laws on intestate succession are found in Chapter 73 of Florida’s probate code. These laws determine who will inherit when a person dies with no will. The specifics of who actually inherits varies based upon who are the decedents living relatives. For example:

  • If you die with children but are not married, your kids receive all of your intestate property.
  • If you die with a spouse but have no descendants, such as kids or grandkids, your spouse inherits all of your intestate property.
  • If you die with a spouse and your only descendants were born to your current marriage, your spouse inherits all your property.
  • If you die while married and you share kids but your spouse also has kids from outside of the marriage, your spouse gets half your intestate property and your descendants get half of the intestate property.
  • If you die while married and you have kids from outside the marriage, your spouse gets half your intestate property and your kids also get half of your intestate property.
  • If you die with surviving parents but don’t have a spouse or any descendants, then your parents inherit all your intestate property.
  • If you have surviving siblings but no spouse, descendants, or parents, your siblings will inherit everything in your intestate estate.

Not everything you own necessarily has to transfer under Florida’s intestacy laws. You may have life insurance policies, or pay-on-death accounts, or property held jointly with someone else, or property that is held in trust. All of these different assets, and many other types of assets, can transfer to designated beneficiaries or co-owners.  You should get help from an estate planning lawyer to better understand what kind of property is transferred under the rules of intestate succession.

Downsides of Transferring Property Under Laws on Intestate Succession

Although Florida’s laws on intestate succession aim to try to ensure your property is given to the people who are closest to you, these default laws often don’t work for every family. You may want a different arrangement for what happens to your money and property when you pass away. To make sure your wishes prevail, you need to make an estate plan. Don’t wait to do this, because something could happen at any time unexpectedly that makes it impossible for you to make your plan.

Getting Help With Estate Planning & Intestate Succession

If you live in or around Fort Myers and you need any assistance with estate planning matters or with legal issues related to intestate succession, Barbara M. Pizzolato, P.A. can help you.  We work hard to assist with creating a plan so you control what occurs after your death. This allows you to protect your family and your loved ones.

We also provide help to clients throughout Fort Myers with probate and with the transfer of assets under Florida laws on intestate succession. If someone in your family has passed away, with or without a will, our legal team can guide you through the process of winding up the affairs of the estate and transferring assets.

To learn more, join us for a free seminar that provides an introduction to estate planning and intestate succession. You can also call Barbara M. Pizzolato, P.A. today at (239)-225-7911 or contact us online to find out how our legal team can provide personalized help with the estate planning or probate process.

Fort Myers (Main Office):

8660 College Pkwy

Suite 400

Fort Myers, FL 33919

P: (239) 225-7911

F: (239) 221-0279



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80 Main Street, Suite 140

West Orange, NJ 07052

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