It all depends on whether there is a will; I'm assuming that there is not.......in which case we would need complete information regarding lineal descendants of your mother, etc. Much more info. is needed.
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I am so sorry! The answer to your question depends on the ages of the family members, how they are related to your mother, what the will allows for (if there is one), and other issues that will need to be reviewed by an attorney. I think what you are referring to is the "family allowance" of an amount determined by the court, but not to exceed $18K which is designated for the spouse and any dependent heirs. You really need to hire a probate attorney to open probate, which will have to be done in order to determine the allowance, or elective share of your mom's estate.
Carol Johnson Law Firm, P.A. : (727) 647-6645 : firstname.lastname@example.org : Wills, Trusts, Real Property, Probate, Special Needs: Information provided here is anecdotal and should not be relied upon or considered legal advice. Every matter is different and answers given here are general in nature and may not reflect current Florida law at the time you are reading this posting. Please contact me if you feel you need additional assistance with your matter.
As you do not specify if the decedent was survived by a spouse or minor children, your question is difficult to answer. You did not provide enough facts. However, in general, a surviving spouse receives protected homestead rights (either a life estate or an undivided one half interest in the home, with the other half vesting in the decedent's lineal descendants in being at the time of her death), there is provision for the first $20,000 of household goods, furniture, furnishings and appliances in decedent's place of abode to be exempt from creditors as "exempt property", and the car is exempt from creditors who do not hold a lien on it (a lienholder can still repossess the car if not receiving payments though), and the court may order, upon application, an allowance not to exceed a total of $18,000 to surviving spouse and decedent's lineal heirs she was supporting or was obligated to support for their maintenance while the estate is being administered. If no such persons existed, of course, no such allowance is applicable. See Florida Statute 732.403 and 732.402 for more specific information on these issues. You will find that you are not going to be able to handle this matter appropriately without the assistance of an estate/probate attorney.
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