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What Are My Children’s Inheritance Rights If I Die Without A Will?

Loune-Djenia Askew, Esq.

Feb 28, 2024

If you are the parent of minor children, one of the most important reasons to have an estate plan is to provide for your kids' care after your death. While homestead laws protect the interest of minor children, adult children have no automatic legal right to be named as beneficiaries of their parent’s will or trust under Florida law. However, if you die intestate (without a will) Florida law will name all of your legal children as your beneficiaries for purposes of probate.

Married Parents vs Unmarried Parents

When it comes to defining “children” for purposes of intestate succession, Florida law does not discriminate between children born to married parents versus unmarried parents. Therefore, a child with unmarried parents can legally inherit from their biological parents just as a child with married parents. The same goes for any children that were legally adopted by the deceased parent.

Adult Children's Inheritance Rights

Adult children face unique considerations when it comes to inheritance rights if a parent passes away without a will in Florida. Intestate succession laws come into play and dictate the distribution of assets among surviving children. However, the absence of a clear legal document, such as a will, can lead to potential disputes among adult children. Without explicit instructions from the deceased parent, questions regarding the fair distribution of assets and the deceased's intentions may arise. 

Having an estate plan as a parent is paramount to mitigate uncertainties and to ensure a smoother transition for your family in accordance with your wishes. By understanding the complexities of intestate succession, you can educate your children so they can better navigate the potential challenges that may arise in the absence of a legally documented estate plan.

For more information, contact our office at Askew & Associates, P.A. by calling 954-546-2699.

Disclaimer: this blog post is not intended to be legal advice. We highly recommend speaking to an attorney if you have any legal concerns.

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