What happens if I die without a will in Florida? If there is no will in Florida, then the probate court will distribute the assets of the probate estate pursuant to the law of intestacy. In Florida, the law of intestacy is codified in Florida Statutes, Chapter 732. This statute was significantly modified in 2014.

The new probate statute provides that upon death, if there is no will in Florida and there are no surviving descendants of the deceased spouse, then all of the estate goes to the surviving spouse. Similarly, the decedent is survived by a spouse and descendants (children, grandchildren, etc.) who are also descendants of the surviving spouse, then all of the estate goes to the surviving spouse. If the decedent is survived by descendants who are not descendants of the surviving spouse, or if the surviving spouse has descendants who are not descendants of the deceased spouse, then the surviving spouse receives one half of the decedent’s probate estate, and his or her descendants receive the other half.

Section 732.103 provides for the distribution of the decedent’s probate assets if there is no will in Florida, no surviving spouse and no surviving descendants of the deceased.

The intestacy statute does not control the disposition of assets that are distributed by beneficiary designations, such as IRAs, pension plans, life insurance, annuities, etc.  If there is no will in Florida, or even if there is a will, these types of assets will be distributed to the person(s) named as the beneficiary.

Similarly, even if there is no will in Florida, any property that is owned jointly with another, where that ownership is with the right of survivorship, those assets will flow to the joint owner(s) upon the death of one of the co-owners – regardless of whether the decedent died without a will in Florida.

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