Cynthia Crofoot Rignanese, Esquire
Thinking Globally, Practicing Locally in Central Florida Since 1990

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What To Know About Inheritance After Death Of A Loved One?

Loved ones can accumulate assets over years of hard work and accurate financial planning. Sometimes, a loved one leaves this world and their possessions behind. Many people have detailed estate plans for what to do with their worldly possessions. Others may not have indicated such a specific plan. In both situations, the heirs to an estate or inheritance have certain rights.

Inheritance laws in Polk County are based heavily on Florida law. Much of it is based on whether or not a state is a community property state or a common law property state. This matters a lot in situations where an estate plan or inheritance was not explicitly laid out and approved by the appropriate parties. Florida is a common-law state, which means a spouse is not automatically entitled to a one-half interest in all property acquired during the marriage. This is because in a common law states like Florida, both spouses do not necessarily jointly own the property or assets acquired during a marriage.

This could mean that children, parents or other significant people in a person's life may be able to lay claim to an inference that was not pointedly decided. Many states including Florida recognize that a spouse is to receive no less than 1/3 of a spouse's inheritance, regardless or what occurs with the other portion. If less than that amount is left to a spouse, they may be able to contest this successfully by filing a claim to the estate or inheritance left behind by a deceased spouse. This could be good news or troubling news, depending on who is on what side of the inheritance.

There could be a variety of assets left behind after the death of a loved one. Property, financial accounts and other assets may be up for allocations after the death of a loved one. Many have questions about whether or not they are entitled to an inheritance after the passing of a loved one. The short answer is, it depends.

Rignanese & Associates is available to work with clients on their legal needs. Please reach out to us at 863.294.1114.

1. On behalf of Kelly Kennedy of J. Kelly Kennedy, Attorney/CPA, PLLC which has been acquired by Rignanese & Associates, PLLC.

Source:, "Inheritance Law and Your Rights," Accessed April 3, 2017

Tags: Inheritances

Cynthia Rignanese