Even though death is a natural part of life, it’s still never easy to deal with the loss of a loved one. When a death in the family happens, things can become very complicated extremely quickly when a will is not left behind after the homeowner’s death. According to The Florida Bar; “Someone who dies without a valid will is “interstate.” When a person dies in intestacy, the probate asses are rarely turned over to the state of Florida. The state will only claim the assets if there are no heirs to inherit the property. Even though we are licensed Realtors we don’t want to list your house, we want to buy your house.
Following the death of the homeowner, the state will evaluate who are the proper “heirs” and distribute the probate assets in the priority that the heirs fall in. If the decedent had a living spouse but still has one or more living descendants who are both descendants of both the deceased and alive spouse; then the surviving spouse gets half of the property, and the other half is shared between the remaining descendants.
If the decedent were not married at the time of death, yet had one or more descendants, then they would inherit all of the deceased’s probate property. If there are multiple descendants involved, then the property will be divided up evenly between all of them. The division of the descendants goes by their generational level with the deceased. Furthermore, if one of the decedent’s children did not make it through the decedent and the deceased child had heirs; then the property would be given to the descendants of the decedent’s deceased child.
If the decedent were not married and didn’t have any living descendants, then the property would be handed down to the decedents surviving parents. If the parents are deceased, then the property will go to the decedent’s brother or sister. On the other hand, Florida interstate laws will pass the estate over to other remote heirs if any close siblings did not survive the decedent.
A lot of times there is confusion when it comes to the states recognizing a same-sex partner as their surviving decedent. However, after the Supreme Court recognized same-sex marriages, the descendants’ process will be the same for any other marital status. If the decedent was married but then separated or started the divorce process, then a judge may have to decide on whether or not the surviving members are considered living spouses.
Lastly, the decedent property is subject to certain exceptions for homestead property, personal property, and statutory allowances for the living spouse and decedents for who the decedent supported. These assets are handed down differently compared to the intestate laws. If the decedent’s estate was in their name alone, and they were survived by a significant other; then the surviving spouse would have the use of the homestead property for the entirety of their life. The surviving spouse would also be able to request an undivided one-half interest of the homestead property after six months of the deceased’s death as long as the proper procedures were followed.