The Last Will and Testament is a legal document that controls the disposition of assets, where the testator expresses his/her wishes as to how their assets / property is to be distributed at death. The testator may also appoint guardians to children under 18 years of age.
Under Florida Statutes § 732.102 & 732.103, if there is no Will, then the assets will pass in the following matter:
|Intestate Succession (No Will): Spouses & Children|
|If spouse, but no children||Spouse inherits entire estate|
|If spouse and children only from the spouse||Spouse inherits entire estate|
|If spouse and children, but children are from another relationship||Spouse inherits ½ of the estate and the other ½ is divided among the children|
|If children, but no spouse||Estate divided among the children|
If the person died without a spouse or children. Then the assets will be distributed in the following manner:
Uncles and Aunts
Kindred of last deceased spouse
Other important documents you should have besides a Last Will and Testament Living Will:
A legal document in which you specify what actions should be taken for your health if you are no longer able to make decisions for yourself because of illness, terminal condition, or vegetative estate.
A legal document where you appoint an adult who will make healthcare decisions for you when you become unable to make them for yourself.
A legal document that allows you to appoint a person or party to share specific health information with.
Durable Power of Attorney
A legal document that enables a trusted individual to handle your affairs if you become mentally incapable, unable, or unavailable. This document is only valid while you are alive. It loses its validity once you are dead. Upon death, your last will and testament will become effective.
Child Healthcare Directive / Designation of Healthcare Surrogate of a Minor
Document in which the parents appoint an adult who will make decisions (medical, education, disciplinary, etc.) related to children under 18 in the event that both parents are unavailable (for reasons such as: travel, hospitalization, unconsciousness, etc.)