If you die without leaving behind a will, you may wonder what happens to your property in Florida. Any time you fail to have a will, or a court determines that your will is incomplete or illegal, Florida has intestate succession laws that will govern who inherits your property. These laws choose different people based on their relationship to you and who survives you after your death. Let’s look at two scenarios to better understand these laws.
Scenario 1: You die leaving behind a spouse, but no children, grandchildren or any other descendants.
This is the easiest intestate succession scenario to deal with, as your surviving spouse will inherit all of your property. If you have surviving parents, your parents do not receive property under Florida law, even though other states have laws that would leave something to your parents.
Scenario 2: You leave no surviving children, parents, or spouse, but do leave siblings and nieces or nephews.
In this scenario, because you have no lineal descendents or spouse, your brothers and sisters stand to inherit all of your property in equal shares. So, if you have two brothers and a sister, each will receive a one-third share of your estate. If one of your parents had been alive at the time of your death, your parents would receive the entire estate, or if both survived, they would each inherent an equal share.
Of course, these are only two of the numerous different types of intestate scenarios possible, so you should talk with your Florida estate planning lawyer for more detailed information.