When a spouse dies, Florida law allows the surviving spouse and any dependents — including children, grandchildren or any surviving parents — to claim a family allowance of up to $18,000. The reason for this allowance is to ensure that a surviving spouse and any dependents will have the financial resources to pay daily living expenses while the estate is going through the probate process.
In addition, a surviving spouse may have rights to claim an “elective share” (30 percent of all assets) from the decedent’s estate as well as rights in the decedent’s homestead property. And if the decedent married and had children following the date of a will’s creation, and did not provide for the new spouse and children, these omitted family members may still be entitled to a share of the estate.
If you have survivor rights questions, you should consult with a Fort Myers estate planning lawyer to determine what your rights are under Florida probate law.
The Dorcey Law Firm, PLC is a Florida Estate Planning, Asset Protection and Business Planning law firm with offices in Fort Myers, Florida and Naples, Florida. Our firm is dedicated to its clients, the rule of law and the betterment of the Southwest Florida community.
It is our goal to provide our clients with the highest level of legal services in the areas of Last Will and Testaments, Living Trust, Irrevocable Trusts, Estate Planning, Asset Protection, and complete Business Planning. If you or someone you know needs information on Florida estate planning, please contact us today to schedule your free consultation.