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Dunedin Estate Planning & Probate Lawyer

Estate planning and probate are critical processes that ensure the orderly distribution of your assets and provide financial security for your loved ones. In Florida, the elective share law plays a vital role in safeguarding the interests of surviving spouses and can impact how both estate planning and probate are conducted. This overview offers insights into the elective share provisions under Florida law. For personalized assistance regarding the elective share on Florida’s central Gulf Coast, contact Messina Law Group to sit down with a knowledgeable and experienced Dunedin estate planning and probate lawyer.

Elective Share: A Safety Net for Surviving Spouses

The elective share in Florida is a legal mechanism that entitles a surviving spouse to a minimum portion of the deceased spouse’s estate. This is set at 30% of the elective estate, a broader concept than the probate estate, encompassing various assets that may not typically pass through probate. The elective estate includes all of the following, for example:

  • Assets in revocable trusts
  • Jointly owned properties with survivorship rights
  • Transfer-on-death accounts
  • Certain transferred assets within a specified period before death
  • Retirement accounts, under certain conditions

The elective estate’s broad composition underscores the need for comprehensive estate planning that considers both probate and non-probate assets.

Eligibility and Claim Process for the Elective Share in Dunedin

The right to claim the elective share is reserved for the surviving spouse of a deceased Florida resident. To assert this right, the spouse must file a claim with the probate court within specific deadlines: six months from the notice of administration or two years from the decedent’s death, whichever comes first.

Strategic Considerations for Estate Planning

For Dunedin residents engaged in drafting a will or planning the future of their estate, integrating the elective share into estate planning requires careful consideration of the following issues:

  • Marital Agreements: These binding contracts can influence the elective share, with prenuptial and postnuptial agreements potentially altering or waiving the spouse’s rights to choose the elective share.
  • Asset Titling: The manner in which assets are titled can significantly impact the elective estate and, consequently, the elective share.
  • Planning Techniques: Utilizing trusts and tailored bequests can help manage the elective share’s implications, ensuring a balanced distribution of assets.

Contact Messina Law Group for Help With the Elective Share in Dunedin

For Dunedin residents, a thorough understanding of Florida’s elective share laws is essential for effective estate planning. It ensures that surviving spouses are adequately provided for, while also allowing for flexibility in asset distribution. Engaging with an experienced Dunedin estate planning & probate lawyer can offer personalized guidance and strategies to navigate these complex legal waters, ensuring that your estate plan aligns with your wishes and provides for your loved ones. Call Messina Law Group today at 813-492-7798.

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