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The possible halving of the spouse’s estate share is the most glaring example of how the Florida Probate Code may differ from someone’s wishes.
As the scenarios get more complex, the likelihood that one’s wishes will not be met increase.
(While using different terms to denote gender differences has fallen out of style, traditionally the female form of “testator” was “testatrix”.) Distribution of A Florida Estate When Someone Dies Intestate When someone dies intestate with a surviving spouse and either no children or only children with the surviving spouse, the surviving spouse receives the entire estate.
After that scenario the code defines multiple other possibilities.
While Florida gives a person much freedom to dispose of his property (known as his “estate”) at his death, this freedom is gained only through the execution of a valid will. Will execution formalities and the consequences of not having a valid will are found in the Florida Probate Code.
A Florida resident who dies without a valid Will dies “intestate”.
In that event, the testator’s name must be subscribed at the end of the Will by some other person in the testator’s presence and by the testator’s direction.
This individual may not be one of the two witnesses otherwise required.
With short reflection the importance of having a valid Will becomes apparent.
While achieving desired property distribution is an important consideration in executing a valid Will, it is not the only one.
Parents with minor children can use a will to appoint a guardian.