Frequently Asked Questions about Wills
What is a will?
A will is a legal document written to ensure that a person’s possessions or responsibilities are taken care of according to their wishes after their death. A will may include the appointment of a personal representative, along with the delineations of which beneficiaries will get what.
What happens to probate assets if there is no will?
To summarize, if there is no will, Florida statute who gets what depending on whom the decedent left behind (ie. spouse, children, parents, siblings). Otherwise known as Intestate Succession, the rules function a default plan to specify how assets are shared if it is not explicitly stated in the will, or if there is no will at all.
Can a spouse be cut out of a will or trust?
Legally, no. Florida law provides that the surviving spouse may receive an elective share of 30% of the decedent’s elective estate, unless there is a valid pre/post marital agreement. However, the election is not automatic, and is subject to strict election deadlines.
We cannot locate the will. Now what?
Florida law presumes that if the original document cannot be produced, it was the decedent’s intent that the document be destroyed. It is possible to overcome this presumption depending upon specific facts. If the presumption cannot be overcome, the probate process would then follow the intestate succession process instead.
The legal field is often daunting, but we’re here to help! Coye Law Firm offers free consultations—just call (407) 648-4940 or fill out our contact form. Whether it’s a probate, will, trust, life insurance, or any other form of estate planning, the experienced attorneys of Coye Law Firm are here to help!
Still have questions? Click here for a free to download report on the probate process. This document answers questions such as:
- What 13 responsibilities does a personal representative have?
- What are the 5 ways a personal representative’s fees may be determined.
- The 3 different ways a Probate attorney’s fees may be determined.
- Who are all the people involved in the probate process?
- What should you organize in order to move the probate process along quicker?
- What should you do with leftover medical bills and Medicaid?