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Wesley Chapel Estate Planning Lawyer

Estate planning is a crucial aspect of securing your family’s future and ensuring that your assets are distributed according to your wishes. In Florida, one important aspect of estate planning and probate law is the elective share law, which is designed to protect surviving spouses from being disinherited. This law can have significant implications for estate planning in Florida. Learn more below about the elective share, and contact Messina Law Group for skilled and knowledgeable Wesley Chapel estate planning lawyer.

What Is the Elective Share?

The elective share is a legal provision that allows a surviving spouse to claim a portion of the deceased spouse’s estate, regardless of the provisions made in the will. In Florida, the elective share is 30% of the elective estate, as outlined in Florida Statutes 732.201 through 732.228.

The Elective Estate

The elective estate includes not only the probate assets but also certain non-probate assets. These can include:

  • Property held in a revocable trust
  • Payable-on-death accounts
  • Jointly held property with rights of survivorship
  • Certain types of transferred property
  • Retirement accounts

It’s important to note that the elective share is calculated based on the value of the elective estate, not just the probate estate.

Who Is Eligible for the Elective Share?

The elective share is available to the surviving spouse of a deceased Florida resident. To claim the elective share, the surviving spouse must file an election with the probate court 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 Does the Elective Share Impact Estate Planning?

For individuals in Wesley Chapel, understanding the elective share is crucial for effective estate planning. Here are some key considerations:

  • Marital Agreements: Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements can impact the elective share by either waiving or modifying the surviving spouse’s rights.
  • Asset Ownership: The way assets are titled can affect the elective estate. For example, assets held in a revocable trust are included in the elective estate, while those held in an irrevocable trust are not.
  • Estate Planning Strategies: Estate planning strategies, such as the use of irrevocable trusts or specific bequests to the surviving spouse, can be used to manage the impact of the elective share on the distribution of assets.

Help With the Elective Share in Wesley Chapel Estate Planning and Probate

The elective share laws in Florida serve to protect the financial interests of surviving spouses. For residents of Wesley Chapel, understanding these laws is essential for effective estate planning and ensuring that your wishes are honored. Consulting with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney can help you navigate these complex laws and develop a comprehensive estate plan that meets your needs and the needs of your loved ones. For help dealing with the impact of Florida’s elective share laws on estate planning and probate, call Messina Law Group at 813-942-7798 to schedule an appointment at our Wesley Chapel estate planning and probate lawyer.

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