In this three-part blog series, we will discuss the Florida Statutes’ treatment of pretermitted children. We will cover Title XLII, Estates and Trusts, and Section 732 of the 2011 Florida Statutes. This section addresses intestate succession and wills.
A pretermitted child is one unintentionally left out of their parent’s will. A pretermitted child is not one a parent intentionally omitted or disinherited from their will. It does not include a child the parent knew existed but chose not to include in his or her will and it does not include a child born after a parent executed his or her will.
Specifically, a pretermitted child is one that was accidentally or unintentionally omitted from a parent’s will because that parent was unaware of the child’s existence. A pretermitted child is one left out of their parent’s will because the parent never knew they existed. For example, it may be that the father wrote his will before he knew of the child’s existence. It may have been that her father never married her mother and legitimized her. To help children who were unintentionally or mistakenly left out of a parent’s will, most jurisdictions passed mandatory succession statutes allowing them to claim an inheritance regardless.