clarification on inheritance law

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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clarification on inheritance law

My husband and I have been married for 22 years. We have no children together but he has 2 from a previous marriage. I understand the law to be at his death assets are 50/50 split between his surviving spouse and his children, who each receive 25%. Is the 50/50 split based on his half of total assets 75 going to surviving spouse or is surviving spouse entitled to 50% of total marital assets.

Asked on April 25, 2019 under Estate Planning, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Anything owned by the wife remains hers--including money she personally earned or deposited in the bank--since FL is not a community property state. Anything owned solely by her husband (e.g. car in his name only; his money in a bank account) is divided the way you describe. Anything the two of them owned gets complicated, because certain kinds of joint ownership (like a house owned a "joint tenants with right of survivorship") becomes hers solely when her spouses passes, but other kinds of joint ownership (like if the house or other real estate is owned as "tenants in common") result in her keeping her 50% interest while his 50% is split between her and his children, as you describe. 
Complicating the matter further is that he may own certain things "payable on death" or "transfer on death" to someone--like a bank account in his name only, TOD/POD to one of his children--and if does, it goes directly to the designated beneficiary.
The best thing to do is to consult with a probate attorney when the time is right, who can help you understand who gets what and also help with the probate process.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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