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Dying with no will in Florida

Florida residents who pass away without having a valid will are said to have died intestate. This means that the state will determine a number of things, including how the decedent's assets are distributed. When a person with children who are under the age of 18 dies without a will and the other parent is unavailable to care for them, the state will decide who will raise the children.

Asset distribution is usually based on the person's closest living relative. If a person who is married without a will passes on, all of the couple's jointly-held assets will normally be given to the surviving spouse, and when a couple has children, then a third to a half of the person's individually owned property goes to their spouse, and the rest goes to the person's children.

When people are not married and have no children, their assets are normally passed on to their parents, and if the parents are deceased as well, then property will go to the decedent's siblings. The state will grant assets to a decedent's next closest living relative if neither siblings nor parents are alive.

Along with a will, there are a variety of estate planning documents that are available to people to help them determine how their possessions should be distributed when they pass on. Trusts give individuals greater control over how assets are distributed, including allowing them to be doled out over time. These vehicles also allow assets to pass without having to go through probate, which is a public process that can often be expensive and lengthy.

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