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What are the rights of a surviving spouse?

On Behalf of | Jul 30, 2019 | Probate

There are certain rights that you gain as a spouse in Florida. This rings true as well when your spouse dies. You are the next of kin for your spouse. As such, you also have some rights during probate even if your spouse left no will or estate plan or left you out of any estate plans. The idea is to provide you with what is rightfully yours and to prevent any financial issues due to the death of your spouse.

As a spouse, you have certain rights regardless of the estate plan your spouse left behind. If he or she left you out of the will, that may not mean that you will not get anything. In fact, the law may provide you with assets from the marriage. For example, your family home typically will go to you. You also have the right to an elective share of the estate. The elective share is usually around 30 percent of the total assets.

Even if you are in the will or estate plan documents, you may find the probate process causes you financial strain. You may be able to get an allowance that will provide you with money before probate is complete.

The goal of these rights is to make sure that you are left without what is rightfully due to you. In addition, probate is not meant to be a process that punishes you. If you need funds right away, you can go to the court for assistance. Many times, when your spouse passes away, you will not be left without anything. This information is for education and is not legal advice.