Q: My father passed in 2016. I have not talked to my stepmother since. What are state laws for inheritance?
A: You need to speak with a Florida Probate Attorney in order to provide additional details and specifics of the circumstances. It has now been 5 years, someone should have contacted you long ago if there was a probate and you were named in the Will/Trust/Deeds or on any other accounts and or assets. A parent has no obligation whatsoever to leave anything to an adult child and they can do as they please if there is a Will. If there was no Will, then the answer is different if the accounts were not jointly owned or listed with rights of survivorship, etc. If you were to receive anything, you should and would have been notified long ago. A surviving spouse even without a Will has substantial rights in Florida and in most states, but especially so in Florida. There is no way to tell for sure unless you are able to provide additional specific details for review.
A: I would need additional information in order to provide an accurate answer. Did your father have a will? Was a probate done of his estate? If your step mother was the surviving spouse, she was entitled to receive some benefits. Was there real property involved? You really need to speak to a probate attorney to get definitive answers.
Ellen Deutsch Taylor
Estate Planning Attorney
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