There are a lot of popular beliefs about the law that have little or no basis in fact. Unfortunately, however, the state of Florida might end up inheriting all of your property in some situations. This is not a myth or misperception, but is very much a legal reality.
A when a person dies without leaving behind any kind of will or other kind of estate plan, he or she is said to have died intestate. In this situation the Florida intestate succession laws dictate who inherits the deceased person’s property. This property usually goes to any surviving relatives, such as a spouse, children, parents, siblings, or even more distant relations.
However, when a person dies leaving behind property in Florida and there are no relatives to inherit that property, the state will inherit whatever the person leaves behind. Under Florida law the left behind property, known as an estate, must be sold. After this the proceeds from the sale will be collected by state officials and paid to the Florida State School Fund.
However, the law also allows for a 10 year period after the payments are made to the state in which a person who has a claim as an inheritor can appear and ask for those funds. After this 10 year period expires, no claim can be made and all the estate funds will be property of the state of Florida.
You’ll learn how to better protect your property if you attend our next free estate planning seminars on living trusts. The next will be on the 23rd and 24th of October in Port St. Lucie, Florida. The seminars are free, but you’ll need to contact us beforehand for registration information because space is limited.