Estate planning attorneys love to beat you over the head with the fact that you need a will. It’s one of our favorite pastimes, after late night readings of the latest generation skipping transfer tax regulations.
But what happens if you die without a will? That is what’s known as intestacy. If you die intestate, then the law governs how your property is distributed. This law is based upon your marital status and whether you have any descendants.
The law is also significantly changing on October 1, 2011. Under the new law, if the Decedent’s descendants are all also descendants of the Decedent’s surviving spouse, and the surviving spouse does not have any descendants who are not descendants of the decedent, then the surviving spouse receives the entire estate.
Perfectly clear, right?
Yeah, I know. Not so much.
In the past, I’ve written about Kelley’s Homestead Paradigm, which takes Florida’s notoriously complicated laws regarding the disposition of your home upon your death, and makes it understandable through an easy to follow chart. Inspired by Rohan Kelley’s work, I decided to make a flow-chart showing how Florida’s new intestacy law works.
It’s not as fancy as Kelley’s Paradigm. I always received bad grades in arts in crafts. But I think it does its job.