What Am I Entitled To As A Surviving Spouse?
After losing a spouse in Florida, surviving spouses usually have many questions about inheritance rights.
Unfortunately, this can be a very complex matter.
If the deceased had a will, this will serve as the general guidelines as to how the property will be distributed. However, there are cases in which Florida state law may override what is detailed in the will.
Dying Without A Will
If the spouse died without a will, the state determines how the assets will be distributed. If the couple had no children together or separately, the surviving spouse generally receives the entire estate.
If the spouse died with a will, the surviving spouse is entitled to his or her “elective share,” which is 30 percent of the estate. However, the surviving spouse may choose the share to which he or she is entitled to according to the will.
There are many factors that may affect what a surviving spouse receives after the death of a spouse:
- Whether a prenuptial agreement was in place
- Whose name was on the titles of certain assets
- Whether the individual had a will or died intestate (without a will)
- When the will was drafted (before or during the marriage)
- Other beneficiaries or descendants
It is advisable for surviving spouses to act quickly after the death of a spouse, as there are timelines in place that may affect entitlements.
Talk To An Attorney Today
Inheritance issues are complex. It is advisable to seek guidance from a probate attorney who can help the surviving spouse understand these issues.