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What happens if you die before creating a will?

These days, Americans are undeniably busy, and in many cases, this can lead them to “put off” certain important actions, such as creating a will. You would be remiss to delay crafting this critically important document, however, as dying without one could lead to a wide range of issues.

Drafting a will gives you a clear opportunity to make your wishes known and dictate what you would like to happen to your children, finances and so on after your death. If you fail to make one, though, the state of Florida assumes control over these and related issues, and your beneficiaries can be the ones who lose out.

So, what types of problems and issues can you encounter in the event that you die “intestate,” or without a will?

Heir issues

If you do not use a will to dictate how you want to distribute your wealth once you pass on, the state will need to do so for you.

In Florida, a substantial portion of your estate will typically go to your spouse, if applicable, but the amount of that spousal share will depend on whether you have other children who are not the children of your current spouse. Creating a will gives you an opportunity to make your own decisions with regard to your wealth and distributions.

Custody issues

A will gives you an opportunity to stipulate who you want to serve as a guardian over any minor children you may have, and it also grants you a chance to express other wishes you may have with regard to their raising. In the absence of a will, the responsibility of naming a guardian falls on the state, so creating a will is an important step in maintaining control over these matters.

Opting not to create a will can also have important tax ramifications, among others, so creating one is a critical step for people wishing to express their wishes for the future while they are still around and able to do so.

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