Getting an estate plan together is one of the best things that an adult can do. This is the way to let everyone which assets you want to leave to which person. This can take the stress off of them while they’re coping with losing you.
When a person doesn’t have an estate plan in place, state law determines who gets the assets. This is known as dying intestate. Who gets what when you pass away can be rather complex, depending on the circumstances.
What happens if you have a spouse?
If you have a spouse, they will get the entire estate unless you have children. If you have children, the distribution of the estate depends on whether the children’s other parent is your spouse. Here are the other scenarios:
- When children are shared with your spouse: The spouse gets $60,000 plus half of the balance of the estate with the children sharing the remaining balance
- When the children aren’t shared with your spouse: The spouse gets half the estate with the children sharing the rest
- You have no spouse, but do have children: The children split your estate
The complexities that come with some situations mean it’s best to have your estate plan in order.
What happens if you don’t have a spouse or children?
When there isn’t a spouse and the person doesn’t have any children, the estate goes equally to the decedent’s parents. In the absence of those, it will go down to siblings or descendants of deceased siblings. Other family members come after those if there aren’t any family members who meet those standards.
What happens if you don’t have any surviving relatives?
If you don’t have any surviving relatives that are covered in the intestate laws, your estate is passed down to the State School Fund of Florida.
Setting up your estate plan now can help to prevent issues in the future. Think about writing out your will and setting up trusts. You can also establish powers of attorney designations. All of this combined provides your loved ones with a comprehensive roadmap to follow if you become incapacitated and once you pass away.