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Property of deceased spouse

Fort Pierce, FL |

What happens to the property when a spouse dies and there is no will? How is it divided if there are children from a previous marriage?

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

If it is the marital home and both the husband and wife are on the deed, then it would automatically pass to the spouse. If we are not talking about the marital home, then Florida intestate laws would apply and the spouse would be entitled to an elective share.

THESE COMMENTS ARE NOT LEGAL ADVICE. They are provided for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be provided after consultation by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. Answering this question does not create an attorney-client relationship or otherwise require further consultation.

Posted

If property is not jointly held-the surviving spouse is entitled to a "life estate" in the marital homestead, a family allowance of up to $18,000 , 30% of estate and some exempt property(like autos).
You would need estate planning attorney to file a claim and advise you further as to your rights.

Posted

Your question canno tbe answered without a lot more information. For example, if all of the assets had beneficiary desigantions (such as IRA's, life insurance, etc.) and those assets passed to someone else, then it might be correct to say 30% passes to the spouse if, and only if, the spouses files an election to take the elective share - something that is very complex.

If all of the assets were in the decedent's name alone, certain items, such as homestead real estate, and exempt property have their own rules. For other property, the surviving spouse gets 50% of the probate estate when there are only children from the decedent's prior marriage.

There are lots of exceptions and lots of conditions that have to be met to determine how much a surviving spouse gets. The surviving spouse should get to an attorney as soon as possible and seek appropriate advice. It is not something that can be done without the advice of a licensed attorney. There is too much at stake and it is too easy to get wrong.

My comments are not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship, are not confidential, and are not intended to constitute legal advice. Proper legal advice can only be given by an attorney who agrees to represent you, who reviews the facts of your specific case, who does not have a conflict of interest preventing the representation, and who is licensed as an attorney in the state where the law applies.

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