Florida resident passes away jul 21, 2009 (almost 3 years now) leaving surviving wife and 4 adult sons. Wife collects $100,000 life insurance. Wife says no will was done. We believe the estimated assets of the deceased were $90,000. Question 1: How is the estate to be distributed in the absence of a will?Question 2: Is there a time limit for the sons to try to exercise their claims over their estate distribution given that they have not received any info nor distribution?Question 3: How do sons go about seeking their share of the distribution?
State/Country relating to question: Florida
Thank you for posting your question on JustAnswer.
My understanding is that your questions relate to your father's (decedent) passing without a will and that his surviving spouse wife was not the mother of the four children of the decedent.
Question 1: How is the estate to be distributed in the absence of a will? If a will is not done an estate is distributed by intestate succession by state statute. Intestate means without a will.
Question 2: Is there a time limit for the sons to try to exercise their claims over their estate distribution given that they have not received any info nor distribution? If no probate of the estate was opened a probate proceeding may be opened to distribute the estate.
Question 3: How do sons go about seeking their share of the distribution? Under current law, the surviving wife is entitled to the entire estate if the children of the decedent are also the children of the surviving wife.
If the children are not the children of the surviving wife then the surviving wife is entitled to 50% and the remaining is to be distributed to the striving children of the decedent. The wife is entitled to 100% of the insurance benefit if she was the named beneficiary.
You will need to open a probate proceeding which is best done through a local attorney experienced in probate procedure. The Florida State Bar has a lawyer referral program: www.floridabar.org/names.nsf/MESearchDK?OpenForm.
All my best and encouragement.
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Thanks for your clear reply. Your understanding in paragraph 1 is correct.If no probate of the estate was opened, how much time is there to open one? My father passed almost 3years ago, perhaps too late?.What if a probate was opened and we know nothing about it? Can something still be done for the sons to seek their corresponding share of the estate?Thanks in advance.
If no probate of the estate was opened, how much time is there to open one? My father passed almost 3years ago, perhaps too late?.
If no probate was opened there is no time limit to open a probate.What if a probate was opened and we know nothing about it? Can something still be done for the sons to seek their corresponding share of the estate?
It would be very unlikely that you did not receive some form of notice. However, subsequent administration may be available is there is sufficient proof that interested parties - children of the decedent did not receive proper notice.
Experience in estate planing including wills, trusts and succession planning
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