Florida is generous to the beneficiaries of wills and trusts because there is no tax on the money you inherit. However, numerous laws determine who the rightful beneficiary is after a person’s death.
Fortunately, a probate lawyer with our firm can be there to help you fight for what is rightfully yours. Additionally, they can help you sort out your Last Will and Testament, trust funds, and asset division. So, the probate process goes smoothly for your immediate family members if you were to pass away unexpectedly.
The Surviving Spouse Gets Priority with the Decedent’s Inheritance
One of the most important things to keep in mind is that the surviving spouse is first in line for the remaining assets, in most cases. Assuming there are no children left behind, the surviving spouse is eligible for the full inheritance.
If the deceased party did have children, even if they had children with a different partner, the assets can be divided evenly between the surviving spouse and the remaining children.
In fact, Florida inheritance law gives surviving spouses numerous rights after the death of their partner. According to Florida Statutes § 732.101, if the widower is going through the probate litigation process, they may be granted financial assistance to help them with their cost of living.
To consult with an experienced trusts and probate lawyer today, call 855-686-6752
Your Right to Inheritance as the Child of the Deceased Party
As mentioned, excluding the established rights of the surviving spouse, the inheritance will be divided evenly amongst the children upon their parent’s death. Ultimately, biological children take precedence after their parent’s death. This way also applies to any children born out of wedlock.
Even if the child and the deceased parent had a falling out before their death, it is somewhat difficult to disinherit a child in the State of Florida. As long as paternity can be established, the children have a right to inheritance (even if the deceased party was not aware of their existence while they were alive).
Further, adopted children also have equal access to the inheritance.
Inheritance Rights Don’t Apply to All Children
However, there are a few types of children that are excluded from these inheritance rights:
- Children given up for adoption
- Foster children
If you are confused about your eligibility for inheritance following the death of one of your parents, a wills, trusts, and probate lawyer from our firm can be there to educate you about your legal options.
The Purpose of the Probate Process
According to The Florida Bar, the probate process exists so people can lay claim to the benefits they believe they are owed after someone’s passing. Typically, these parties include:
- Various relatives
- The Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
If the deceased party left behind a will, it will be used to divide the assets between the predetermined parties without any unnecessary conflict. When there is no will, that is when the probate process comes into play. The court will act as a mediator, hearing everyone’s claims and examining the applicable evidence before they divide up the assets accordingly.
The Probate Process Can Help in Other Areas
Additionally, probate can be beneficial for several processes, including:
- Determining the value of certain assets (like houses and cars)
- Recovering debts
- Documenting the available assets
- Questioning the exact language of the Will
Certain assets are immune to probate. If a beneficiary has already been named, probate cannot affect life insurance policies, living trust, joint-assets, retirement accounts, certain bank accounts, and more.
If you feel like you are not getting your fair share of your loved one’s assets, a probate litigation lawyer on our team can help you protect your rights in a court of law.
Our Inheritance Law Attorneys Can Serve You
For over 40 years, our law firm has been there to assist families in Central Florida. With 13 offices to choose from—including locations in Ocala, Orlando, Leesburg, The Villages, and many more areas—we hope our legal services allow you to breathe a sigh of relief during your time of need.
Part of our services include:
- Reviewing insurance policies
- Gathering appraisals for the decedent’s belongings and property
- Managing assets from the estate, including the checking account
- Preparing and submitting necessary documents
- Distributing assets among the beneficiaries
- Assessing which taxes (estate of inheritance) are due
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Connect with Bogin, Munns & Munns Today
Here at Bogin, Munns & Munns, our attorneys have helped countless families understand the intricacies of Florida inheritance law. We ultimately want this entire process to be as painless as possible so you can focus on spending time with your loved ones after such a tragic loss.
To learn more about wills, trusts, and probate law services at Bogin, Munns & Munns, contact a representative today at (407) 578-1334 and get started with your consultation.