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A Quick Guide to Inheritance Laws in Florida

A Quick Guide to Inheritance Laws in Florida


Grief can be debilitating. It’s often difficult to find the energy to do even the most menial tasks when someone we love has passed away. Grieving individuals who are left to sort out any inheritance may find dealing with a loved one’s death even more difficult.


Miami, Beach, Water, Ocean, South, Miami Beach, Florida

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None of us wants our loved ones to die, but If your loved one has recently died in Florida and you’re trying to find out some information about what happens to a resident’s estate, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading below to find out all about inheritance laws in Florida.

Inheritance and Estate Tax

There are currently no state taxes related to inheritance and the estate of people who have died in Florida. Remember that heirs to an estate will only receive what’s left of an estate after any debts have been deducted.

Although Florida doesn’t have an inheritance or estate tax, there are some tax filings you will need to complete, including:

  • Federal Estate Tax Return is due nine months after a person’s death.
  • Federal Income Tax Return is due 12 months after an individual’s death.
  • Trust Income Tax Return – This has to be completed by April 15th of the following year.

Dying without a Will in Florida

Lots of people in the State of Florida die without making a will (known as intestacy). This leaves it up to Florida Inheritance laws to decide who is entitled to inherit what from the estate.

  • A surviving spouse is likely to receive the entire estate.
  • If no surviving spouse exists, the estate will be split between surviving descendants.
  • If there are no descendants, then the estate will be split between any grandchildren.
  • If there are no grandchildren, then the estate will be split between the decedent’s parents.
  • If none of the above exist, the estate will be split between other family members.

Dying with a Will in Florida

Dying with a will in Florida can make sharing any inheritance much easier. Choices in Florida must be personally signed before two witnesses to be considered valid. This means that most handwritten or holographic wills in Florida will not be accepted. However, if an illness or injury prevents you from signing a choice, you can ask somebody else to sign it. Valid will have to name an executor responsible for sharing the estate.

It must be filed with a court no later than ten days after an individual dies. Once this has happened, one of these three things will take place:

  • Disposition without administration means the money from the decedent’s estate pays for their funeral and any other final expenses.
  • Summary: For this to occur, you need to file a petition stating that you want the estate to be shared between the decedent’s heirs.
  • Formal administration – this one can take much longer. In this instance, the court will ensure the will is distributed correctly.

Inheritance laws in Florida can be tricky to understand. If a Florida resident dies, leaving a will, their estate will be split between the named beneficiaries. However, if a Florida resident dies without a will, their estate will be subject to Florida’s intestacy statutes. A valid choice can help make things easier for the loved ones you leave behind.

Elizabeth Coleman

I am a lawyer by profession and a blogger by passion. I started blogging to express my views on various issues.The blog has now become one of my passions. After seeing so many of my friends and colleagues using blogs for their business purposes, I decided to share my views through my blog.I love reading other people's blogs. I am trying to write one every day, and sometimes when I have time I write two or three posts per day.