If a person dies without a will, Florida law determines who receives his estate. It depends on whether the deceased person is survived by a spouse and children or their descendants.
The surviving spouse inherits the entire probate estate if the deceased person is not survived by any children or if all the deceased’s children are the children of both the deceased and the spouse.
But, if the deceased person had children by another relationship, the situation becomes more complicated. Then, the surviving spouse will only receive one-half of the estate.
If there is no surviving spouse of the deceased, the probate estate passes as follows:
(1) To the descendants of the decedent.
(2) If there is no descendant, to the decedent’s father and mother equally, or to the survivor of them.
(3) If there is none of the foregoing, to the decedent’s brothers and sisters and the descendants of deceased brothers and sisters.
(4) If there is none of the foregoing, the estate shall be divided, one-half of which shall go to the decedent’s paternal, and the other half to the decedent’s maternal, kindred.