Not Having a Will May Lead to Results That Don’t Reflect Your Wishes
If you die without having a will to distribute your assets, then you have died intestate. Dying intestate means that your assets will be distributed in accordance with the plan outlined in the law, not in accordance with any plan outlined by you. This can have unexpected and undesired results. For example, this can mean that your spouse is left with less of your assets than you may have wished.
In Florida, how much of your estate (your assets) your surviving spouse will receive at your death depends upon whether 1) you have children, 2) whether your surviving spouse is also the parent of all your children and 3) whether your surviving spouse has children who have a parent other than you.
If you do not have any children, then your surviving spouse will receive all of your estate assets.
If you have children and your surviving spouse is also the parent of all of those children, then your spouse will receive all of your estate assets.
However, if you have children and your surviving spouse is not the parent of all of your children, then your spouse will only receive one-half of your estate assets.
Perhaps an even more unexpected result happens if you have children and your surviving spouse is the parent of all your children; but your surviving spouse also has children who are not your children, then your surviving spouse only gets one-half your estate assets.
So, if you want your spouse to receive all your assets, but you don’t prepare a will expressing that desire, you run the risk that, despite your desires and good intentions, your spouse will receive less than either of you expected.