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FAQ: If I don’t have a will, will the State of Florida get my money?

No—that’s almost never the case. If you don’t have a will, your estate is what’s known as an intestate estate. That means you don’t have a last will and testament, but it doesn’t mean your family won’t inherit from you.

The Florida Statutes on intestate estates assume that what most people will want is for all assets to go to their spouse, if living, or to their children. It can get a little more complicated where there are children from a previous relationship, but the statutes cover that, too. If there is no spouse and no children, the statutes then direct that assets to go parents, siblings, then nieces and nephews.

Assets only go to the state if there’s no family or the next of kin can’t be found, and that doesn’t happen for a long time. Without a will, though, assets do go intestate, which just means they pass to your family under the assumptions made by our legislators over the years. Many times, that’s exactly what you would want—but if it’s not, your will becomes much more important.