When you die, it is a good idea to have an estate plan in place. An estate plan includes a will or trust and outlines how assets are to be distributed in the event of your death.
However, many people fail to have an estate plan in place at the time of their death. In fact, a recent survey by Law Depot showed that 73% of respondents did not have an estate plan. Those with an income of more than $150,000 a year were more likely to have an estate plan.
So why do not people have an estate plan? There are various reasons. Some people are scared of the thought of death. Many are not knowledgeable about the process. They may think they are too young for an estate plan. Perhaps they have minimal assets or cannot afford estate planning.
In any case, dying without a plan in place means you die intestate. This means that the state gets to make decisions as to who gets your property. This also means that your assets may not go where you intended. You may not care if you do not have a lot of family, but if you have a spouse, children, or other close relatives, then they may be in for a surprise if they find out you do not have at least a will in place.
How Will My Assets Be Divided?
Under Florida law, spouses and children have priority over assets. If there are no children, the assets all go to the surviving. If there are children but no spouse, then the children inherit everything. If there is a spouse and children, then the assets are split 50/50.
If there is no spouse or children, then the deceased person’s parents are next in line. They split the assets 50/50. If the parents are deceased, then the deceased’s siblings and their descendants would be the ones to inherit the assets. If there are no living parents, siblings, or descendants, then grandparents, aunts, and uncles would be next in line. If no relatives can be located, then the assets go to the State of Florida. The property is sold, with the proceeds going to the state’s School Fund.
Get a Will
A will allows your assets to go to the people who mean the most to you. If you raise a stepchild or foster child, they will get nothing under state law. Neither will a long-time partner if you never married them. But if you have an estranged child or sibling, they are considered family and are therefore entitled to a share of your assets.
Contact Us Today
It s never a good idea to die without a will or some estate plan in place. It can lead to numerous problems and disputes.
Get peace of mind and protection for your family. Contact Francois Williams Legal LLC for help understanding the estate planning options available to you. To schedule a consultation, call (301) 358-0377 (Maryland) or (954) 372-2021 (Florida) or fill out the online form.