If I Don’t Have A Will, What Will Happen To My Family?
How Are Assets Distributed If The Deceased Doesn’t Have A Will?
Gainesville estate and will planning attorney Ellen Gershow, of Dell Graham, discusses the handling of assets in Florida, if a person dies before they can draft a will. She debunks some misconceptions, such as the belief that, without a will, assets automatically go to the estate, or to the children of the deceased.
“One misconception in regards to what happens if you die without a will. People often say, “Oh, if I don’t have a will the state is going to take my property,” and that’s not true. But there are statutes which do determine how your assets pass if you don’t have a will. One common misconception was that if you died without a will everything would go to your spouse. Up until very recently, that wasn’t true. Half went to children and half to spouse. The statute has been changed, and now if your spouse is the parent of your children, it all goes to the spouse. However, if it’s a second marriage situation where spouses have different children, then the rule of half and half still applies.”