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Tampa Estate Planning Lawyer

Estate planning is a critical process that ensures your assets are distributed according to your wishes after you pass away. However, in Florida, the law provides certain protections for surviving spouses, such as the elective share law, that can impact or even supersede provisions in a will or other estate planning document. This law is designed to prevent a spouse from being completely disinherited and to ensure they receive a portion of the estate. Learn more below about Florida’s elective share law, and contact Messina Law Group for skilled legal assistance from an experienced Tampa estate planning lawyer.

What Is the Elective Share Law?

The elective share law in Florida entitles a surviving spouse to claim a portion of the deceased spouse’s estate, regardless of what is stated in the will or other estate planning documents. The elective share is 30% of the elective estate, which includes not only probate assets but also certain non-probate assets such as trusts, payable-on-death accounts, and joint bank accounts.

Who Is Eligible for the Elective Share?

To be eligible for the elective share, the claimant must be the legal spouse of the deceased at the time of death. It’s important to note that the right to an elective share is automatic, but it must be formally claimed by the surviving spouse within a specific time frame, typically within six months of the date of service of a copy of the notice of administration or two years after the date of the decedent’s death, whichever is earlier.

How Is the Elective Share Calculated?

Calculating the elective share can be complex, as it involves identifying and valuing the assets in the elective estate. This includes not only the assets that pass through probate but also certain non-probate assets. Once the elective estate is determined, the surviving spouse is entitled to 30% of its value.

Impact of the Elective Share on Estate Planning

For estate planning in Tampa, understanding and planning for the elective share is crucial. It can significantly impact how assets are distributed and may require careful structuring of estate plans to ensure that the surviving spouse receives the intended portion of the estate while also respecting the decedent’s wishes regarding the distribution of the remaining assets.

Protecting Your Estate Plan

To ensure that your estate plan aligns with your wishes and carefully considers Florida’s elective share laws, it’s essential to work with an experienced Florida estate planning attorney. The estate planning and probate lawyers at Messina Law Group in Tampa can help you navigate these complex laws and develop a strategy that protects your interests and those of your loved ones.

Contact Messina Law Group for Help With Florida Elective Share Laws in Tampa

Florida’s elective share laws play a vital role in protecting surviving spouses from disinheritance. As you plan your estate, it’s important to consider the implications of these laws and work with our knowledgeable Tampa estate planning & probate lawyer to ensure that your estate plan is both compliant and effective in achieving your goals. If you’re in Tampa and need assistance with your estate planning, our law firm is here to provide the guidance and expertise you need. Call Messina Law Group today at 813-492-7798 for thoughtful advice and skilled, professional legal representation.

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