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If A Will Was Never Done...?

Discussion in 'Power of Attorney & Living Wills' started by CRIOS, Aug 10, 2020.

  1. CRIOS

    CRIOS Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    Florida
    If both parents die without ever written a will stating which of their children obtains what in the things they left behind - property, bank account(s), etc. - do their children have a legal right to those things...are those things divided equally among the siblings or are other judgements determined?
     
  2. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    When people die without a will it's called intestacy and the estate is distributed to the heirs in accordance with the intestacy statute. In Florida it's 732.101 - 732.111:

    Statutes & Constitution :View Statutes :->2019->Chapter 732->Part I : Online Sunshine

    What usually happens is that married people own everything jointly with right of survivorship. When one spouse dies, the other typically inherits joint property. Separate property of the deceased would be distributed per statute, part to the surviving spouse and part to the children.

    When the second spouse dies without a will, the estate is divided among the children.

    But not before the debts and expenses of the estate are paid. And not without one of the heirs becoming appointed by the probate court as representative of the estate and following the rules of probate. It's not just a matter of going in an divvying up everything. There are laws to be followed.

    Above is overly simplified and there are exceptions like insurance and/or accounts with beneficiaries.

    It would be foolish for people not to plan ahead for there eventual demise.
     
  3. CRIOS

    CRIOS Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Okay. What if one of the siblings states, while one of the parent is still alive, the he has power of attorney but refuses to show those legal papers to the other siblings, do the other children have a legal right to see those power of attorney legal docs? The living parent is not aware if such paper where ever drawn up before the first parent passed on.
     
  4. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Power of attorney is only good while a person is alive. If the sibling is claiming power of attorney for the deceased parent, then if he has any piece of paper at all, it's not worth the paper it's printed on. Really doesn't matter that he's not showing it to anybody.

    Besides, the surviving parent should, typically, already be the owner of everything owned by the deceased parent.

    Perhaps you can explain why this has become an issue in your family if you would like further discussion.

    Include your Mom's age and the ages of you and your siblings.
     
  5. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Let's assume, for purposes of explanation, that father dies first and that mother dies at least several months after father. Let's also assume that father and mother had no children who died before they did.

    When a person dies without a will, his/her probate estate is divided according to the intestate law of his/her state of residence. Under Florida's intestate law, when a person dies without a will and is survived by a spouse and children who are also the surviving spouse's children, then the surviving spouse inherits the entire estate and the children get nothing.

    When a person dies without a will and is survived by children but no surviving spouse, then the estate is divided evenly between the children.

    Note that one's probate estate includes all assets that he/she owns, except the following: (1) assets held in an account that has a pay-on-death beneficiary; (2) assets held in joint tenancy with another (or similar ownership form); and (3) assets held in trust.

    Also note that, if an estate does not have sufficient liquid assets to pay debts, then assets will have to be liquidated to cover debts.

    Finally, I have no idea what you mean by "are other judgements determined."

    No.

    The authority conferred by a POA terminates upon the death of the principal.
     
  6. CRIOS

    CRIOS Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you so very much! For the first time in many, many years I have complete peace of mind. Thank you once again!
     
  7. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Your sole source of "peace of mind" for many years is knowing how your parents' stuff will get divvied up?
     
    justblue likes this.

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