Intestate Succession in Florida: Spouse’s vs. Children’s Shares
In Florida, a married person who dies without a will could see property pass on to their spouse or other living descendants. But how do the state’s intestacy laws determine who gets what and how much?
Determining child vs. spousal share
If you pass away and have biological children from you and your surviving spouse, and your surviving spouse does not have descendants from any prior relationships, your spouse will inherit all of your assets.
If you die with children or descendants from you and your surviving spouse, and your spouse has children from a prior relationship, your surviving spouse will inherit half of your property and your descendants will inherit the other half.
If you die with descendants who are not also descendants of your spouse, your spouse will inherit half of the property and your descendants will inherit the other half.
About the child’s share
Children who receive an intestate share of the property may wonder how much they will receive. This depends on the amount of children you had, your marital status and whether your spouse had children from a prior relationship.
For your children to inherit anything at all, they must be legally recognized as your children under Florida law. In addition to children born in marriage, this includes adopted children, posthumous children, grandchildren (whose parent is not alive to collect) and children born outside marriage, so long as your paternity is acknowledged.
Foster children and stepchildren who were never legally adopted by you will not be eligible to receive any inheritance without a will.
You can avoid all of this confusion entirely by simply creating a will and a detailed estate plan. Contact an experienced Tampa, FL estate planning attorney BaumannKangas Estate Law for more information about how to get started.