Florida inheritance law exists to protect your inheritance, whether or not you reside in state.
In the event of death for a Florida citizen, probate law (also known as estate law) insures that wills are valid and properly carried out.
One’s net worth consists of more than bank accounts. For example, if the deceased owned property (or the house they lived in), estate law must make sure that ownership transfers rightfully. The same is true for retirement accounts and other assets.
Each probate process can go a little different. Not every Florida resident has a will, and there are the unfortunate cases where the deceased was coerced in life to make changes to their will that they otherwise would not have made.
If you feel that the death of your loved one, a Florida resident, may result in controversy during the execution of a will, it is important that you seek the assistance of a Florida inheritance attorney.
Additionally, if you live outside the state of Florida, it is important that an inheritance attorney be intimately aware of Florida inheritance law.
Is There a Will?
Naturally, a well-crafted will saves everyone time and money. But if wills are unclear, or children of the deceased feel that there may have been undue influence (that is, when the deceased was alive, they were inappropriately coerced to alter their will), then the probate process can become quite complicated.
If there was no will, Florida inheritance law typically upholds the rights of spouses and descendants. But unless you have an inheritance attorney involved in the estate’s division among family members, you may be left with less than your fair share.
Who Has Been Named to Inherit?
In the state of Florida, a resident has the right to name any person they wish as beneficiaries of their estate.
As such, if the probate process confirms the validity of the will, and if you’ve not been named an heir but others have, then you will likely not receive anything once the will has been executed.
Is there Debt and/or Expenses?
An inheritance is paid to those named in the will (or in the case where there was no will, where the probate courts deemed fair) after any and all debts by the deceased are paid.
To name a few of these expenses, there may have been outstanding loans at the time of death. Or funeral expenses may have been unpaid at the time of death.
While there are no estate taxes in Florida, there are Federal taxes to be paid during the inheritance process.
Is There a Surviving Spouse?
The state of Florida usually respects the inheritance rights of widowed spouses more so than the inheritance rights of children. Again, a well-crafted, undisputed will can dictate clearly what is to be done with the estate.
In the case of no will, Florida inheritance law overwhelmingly favors the widowed spouse. This often leads to family conflict if the widowed spouse is not a first marriage.
If your deceased loved one left a widowed spouse, a Florida inheritance attorney can help you understand your rights as it relates to your portion of the inheritance.
What is Probate?
With or without a will, the state of Florida initiates a process to oversee the distribution of a late resident’s estate to rightful heirs. This is called probate law and is also known as Formal Administration.
In conclusion, if you rate an inheritance as a result of the death of a Florida resident, inheritance law exists to protect your inheritance regardless of your state of residence.
As such, make sure to employ the help of local Florida inheritance attorneys to safeguard your inheritance during the probate process. For more information about how an attorney can help you with wills, probate and inheritance, contact Balkan & Patterson at 561-750-9191 or visit our website.