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Intestate Distributions Attorney
in St. Pete and Pinellas Park

Intestate Distributions 

A person who dies without having a valid will is said to have died “intestate”. Their estate is handled by statutory defaults for distribution based on what is called “intestate succession”. There is a section of the Florida Statutes which details how this works for Florida residents. They depend on what surviving relatives are alive. Below is an overview of how some common distributions work:

Surviving spouse receives entire estate when survivors are:

Surviving spouse and no descendants, or

Surviving spouse and children (with that spouse)

Surviving spouse receives one half the estate and descendants share balance when survivors are:

Surviving spouse and descendants not in common with spouse 

Descendants share estate when:

There is no surviving spouse

Lastly, if there is no surviving spouse or descendants then the estate “ascends”. It passes to: 

  • Parents 
  • Grandparents
  • Siblings and their descendants
  • Aunts and Uncles
  • Heirs of the decedents grandparents (half to paternal and half to maternal) unless no relatives exist on one side

If absolutely no relatives are alive, the property will “escheat” to the state, which is a very rare circumstance. 

For many people, the intestate distributions organized by the Florida Statutes as a default mechanism for those without a valid will do not reach desirable outcomes and do not fit their wishes. If that is the case for you, you need to compose a plan which meets your goals and comports with Florida law. The experienced estate planning attorneys of Oldham & Delcamp are available to take on this process for you – call today to schedule your consultation.