If you live in Ponte Vedra and die before you have made your Florida Will, you have died “intestate”. What this means is that your intentions as to who will inherit what from you, and who will be appointed Personal Representative of your estate is now determined by the state of Florida.
If you do not seek out a Ponte Vedra Estate Planning Firm about having your will made prior to your death, you leave your family, friends and charitable organizations at a disadvantage. Any arrangement or understanding you may have had with those who were to benefit from your property and assets, will now be subject to the Florida Intestate Succession Statute. This Florida law strictly dictates who is to receive the property of the decedent (the one who recently died). Good intentions mean nothing in Florida without a valid Florida Will.
Some disadvantages of dying intestate are:
• The share each heir gets is set by law, so your assets will not be distributed based on what you think is best for each heir;
• There are no provision to give a portion of your estate to charity;
• Most states have no provisions for domestic partners or other non-family members; and
• Courts will appoint a guardian for minor children, who may be someone you would not have wanted to be in charge of your kids.
Make plans to consult with a Florida Estate Planning Attorney who can discuss additional disadvantages of dying in Florida without a valid will and the easy ways that this can be avoided.