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What does it mean to die intestate?

Most people die with some form of estate plan in place. They may have written a simple will, or they may have extensive estate plans in place that include several trusts. However, when a person dies without any form of estate plan in place, it means that they were never able to formally state their wishes during their lifetime. This is referred to under the law as dying intestate, or simply known as intestacy.

If your loved one has recently passed away without an estate plan, the assets that they left behind must be processed according to the laws of intestate succession. The following is an overview of key things that you should know if your loved one has recently died intestate.

What happens next? 

The Probate Court may require you to file an "affidavit of heirs by disinterested party." This means that someone without an interest in the estate will have to complete a form regarding the decedent's next of kin. Additionally, all next of kin will need to be notified of the probate proceedings. 

If you are unsure of how your loved one's estate will be distributed because they died intestate, it is important that you take the time to understand Florida law. An experienced attorney familiar with the rules of intestate succession could make a powerful ally throughout the process. 

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