What Rights do Children Have to a Deceased Parent’s Property?

What Rights do Children Have to a Deceased Parent’s Property?

It some situations, it can be quite confusing as to who is a beneficiary when the assets of an estate get distributed. Wills often refer to children as “descendants,” “children,” “heirs” or other terms.

In general, Florida estate planning laws follow the rules of intestate succession if a child has not been named in a will. There is an automatic assumption that parents will hand down their assets and property to their children, and so if the children are not named in a will because the will was written before they were born (or if there is no will at all), the children will receive a distribution of the estate’s property.  This is true even if the parent was unaware of a child — that child could benefit from the rules of intestate succession if he or she were to come forward and attempt to claim a portion of the estate.

Disinheriting a child

There are ways you can legally disinherit your children, for whatever reason you choose. To do so, you should go beyond not mentioning them in the will — you should specifically express your desire to omit them. Children are not protected from this sort of omission in the way spouses are, as state law generally gives individuals the opportunity to distribute of all property in their estates according to their wishes.

To learn more about this important issue as it relates to your estate planning process, speak with a skilled Tampa wills and trusts lawyer at BaumannKangas Estate Law.