In the perfect land of estate planning, the SAG Award for outstanding cast would be presented to the talent behind the fictional production of “The Spouse’s Share.” Ben Affleck and ‘Argo’ would have nothing on the South Florida estate planning attorney and the client behind the making of a Last Will and Testament. The client’s moment to shine occurs when he or she takes the time to discuss with a lawyer how his or her assets should be distributed to the surviving spouse upon death.
This golden opportunity is lost forever when this type of critical planning escapes one’s attention.
Do you know what happens in Florida if you are married but die without a will?
Fla. Stat. §732.102 governs the surviving spouse’s share of the intestate estate.
1. If you die without any surviving descendants, your entire intestate estate will go to your spouse. This does not typically include non-probate assets.
2. If you die with surviving descendants, all of whom are also descendants of the surviving spouse and the spouse has no other descendants, then he or she again receives the entire intestate estate.
3. On the other hand, if you have children from a previous relationship that are not lineal descendants of the surviving spouse, then he or she only gets half of your estate.
4. If the surviving spouse has children from a previous relationship that are not yours but you have one or more children together, then again he or she only gets half.
The Academy Award of all estate planning begins with a Last Will and Testament.
If you don’t ‘act’ now with respect to your assets, there can be some unexpected twists and turns in the story line of your legacy that you might not like. What if you would like your spouse to receive more or less of your fortune? To avoid any unintended and unhappy endings, make the call to your estate planning attorney today for proper direction.
Lights, Camera, Action… you have a will to draft.
For more information on successful Florida asset protection techniques, please contact the South Florida law firm ofWild Felice & Partners, P.A. at 954-944-2855 to schedule your free consultation. It’s a Wild world. Are you protected?SM