No Will? Surviving spouse inheritance rights revised effective October 1st, 2011

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florida probate surviving spouse inheritance new law

Who should care?

If there is no Will, then surviving spouses or children of the decedent.

What is the effect of the revised statute?

Florida Statute 732.102:

732.102 – Spouse’s share of intestate estate. —The intestate share of the surviving spouse is:

  1. If there is no surviving descendant of the decedent, the entire intestate estate.
  2. If the decedent is survived by one or more descendants, all of whom are also descendants of the surviving spouse, and the surviving spouse has no other descendant, the entire intestate estate.
  3. If there are one or more surviving descendants of the decedent who are not lineal descendants of the surviving spouse, one-half of the intestate estate.
  4. If there are one or more surviving descendants of the decedent, all of whom are also descendants of the surviving spouse, and the surviving spouse has one or more descendants who are not descendants of the decedent, one-half of the intestate estate.

For example:

Jack and Jill are married. They have 2 kids together and no other children outside of their marriage. Jack dies with no Last Will and Testament.

Under the old law:

Jill was entitled to the first $60,000 plus one-half of the remaining assets.


Under the new law:

Jill inherits all of the remaining assets.*

*Note: 732.102 does not modify or have any direct effect on the passing of a decedent’s homestead property, that is, the decedent’s principal residence. Homestead descent and devise is not controlled by this new law and falls under its own set of rules.

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