When thinking about estate planning, most people choose their heirs from their relatives. But not everyone marries and has children. When these people pass on, they may have no descendants or other living relatives to inherit their estate.
Alternatively, some people are estranged from family members and have no desire to leave them with their worldly goods. What, then, are the alternatives for inheritance for others in similar circumstances?
Leaving it all to your friends
Unless you feel closely affiliated with a charity and want to leave your wealth to them, you may decide that your closest friends are the ones to whom you will bequeath your estate.
However, since intestate heirship has no provisions for friends of the decedent inheriting, you must make your intentions clear in a will. Otherwise, under Florida law, the state could be the ultimate beneficiary of your estate, as only blood relatives and those linked by marriage or adoption are considered part of the laws of succession when the decedent died with no will.
Take steps now to protect your estate
If you have an heir with whom you do not want to share your estate, there are steps you should take to disinherit them specifically. If you fail to state in writing that a certain heir is to receive nothing, they have less chance of prevailing should they contest the will.
Some heirs could be compulsory in some situations, so it is always best to learn all about your legal options when planning the disbursement of your estate to those whom you loved best in life.