Different circumstances may result in the decision to disinherit a loved one. In Florida, distinct spousal rights protect both spouses in the event of divorce, death, or incapacitation. Is it possible to leave a wife out of the last will in Florida? Keep reading to find out.
Can a Husband Leave Wife Out of Will in Florida? – The Verdict
The possibility to leave a wife out of the last will depends on whether the testator wants to disinherit the spouse entirely and how old are the couple’s children (considering there are children involved).
Each case is different, which requires an individual assessment with an experienced attorney to identify an adequate strategy.
The first element to disinherit a spouse in Florida is reviewing one’s estate plan and last will. Under state law, the last will is the centerpiece of estate planning, as this document assures the testator’s wishes must be carried out upon death.
In specific situations, it is possible to draft a will using language to disinherit a wife, children, or other family members.
Can a Husband Disinherit a Wife in Florida? – Taking a Closer Look
Under Florida law, it is not possible to entirely disinherit a spouse. Florida Statutes §732.102 provides that, even if there is no will (intestacy) upon the husband’s death, “the intestate share of the surviving spouse is:
- If there is no surviving descendant of the decedent, the entire intestate estate
- If the decedent is survived by one or more descendants, all of whom are also descendants of the surviving spouse, and the surviving spouse has no other descendant, the entire intestate estate
- If there are one or more surviving descendants of the decedent who are not lineal descendants of the surviving spouse, one-half of the intestate estate
- If there are one or more surviving descendants of the decedent, all of whom are also descendants of the surviving spouse, and the surviving spouse has one or more descendants who are not descendants of the decedent, one-half of the intestate estate”
Within state jurisdiction, a surviving wife is entitled to inherit at least 30% of a deceased husband’s estate. If there is no last will, the surviving wife is entitled to 50% up to 100% of the decedent’s estate, depending on the existence of children from the relationship.
If someone wants to completely disinherit his wife in Florida, simply leaving her out of the will is not sufficient. Only a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement signed by the wife waiving her inheritance rights over the husband’s estate upon death can disinherit her.
This type of agreement is complex and requires expert legal assistance. If a prenup or post-nuptial agreement is not properly drafted and executed, it may result in a stressful experience for both parties involved.
Is it Possible to Use a Trust to Disinherit a Spouse?
Determining whether the wife of a deceased trust maker is entitled to a part of the trust’s assets depends on whether the trust was funded with marital assets or using the wife’s personal assets.
If a husband believes that a surviving wife will misuse or mishandle the assets received through a trust, it is possible to tailor a trust instrument to benefit only a selected list of beneficiaries. The best approach is to consult with an expert attorney to identify a feasible strategy.