The Florida Slayer Statute

June 23, 2010

In Florida, it is a common principle of law that criminals should not profit from their crimes. Therefore, it follows that a murderer should not be able to inherit from the estate of their victim. The most common, but unfortunate event that would trigger a slayer statute would be when a spouse murders the other spouse.

Under the Florida statute, a surviving person who unlawfully and intentionally kills or participates in killing the victim is not entitled to any benefits under the intestacy code or the victim's Florida Will or Florida Revocable Trust. Property that was originally meant for the killer passes as if the killer had predeceased the victim. A final conviction of murder in any degree is conclusive for purposes of this statute but in the absence of a conviction of murder in any degree, the court may determine by the greater weight of the evidence whether the killing was unlawful and intentional.

There are many situations where the slayer statute could arise in Florida Probate proceedings of a Florida Estate. None of them are simple and should be dealt with quickly and efficiently. For more information on how to deal with slayer statutes contact a Florida Estate Planning Lawyer or Jacksonville Estate Planning Lawyer.