The death of a loved one is a traumatic moment for family members grieving a monumental loss. Whether a spouse, mother, father or other relative passed away, life has changed dramatically. The future is suddenly uncertain. For those who relied on them financially, questions arise as to what the future holds for them.
While no amount of money can alleviate their grief, a family allowance is an option to give them financial stability following a traumatic event.
Qualifying for a Family Allowance
To qualify for a family allowance in Florida, surviving spouses and direct descendants must reside in the state at the time a loved one died. If they were entitled to or actually received financial support while their family member was alive, they could be eligible for an allowance that comes from the estate. The assistance can take the form of a lump sum that is capped or installments over time up to the maximum amount.
The Florida probate court has the authority to grant the family allowance and may revisit the amount as time goes on. The court can review and possibly modify the payment if it is not reflective of the loved one’s needs. Recipients could see their amounts increase or decrease depending on what the court finds.
Unless the Will states otherwise, the family allowance does not impact the value of any assets left to them by their late family member.
As with any complicated legal matter involving probate, filing for a family allowance should be done early in the process. Taking a “do-it-yourself” approach is unwise. An attorney with extensive experience and in-depth knowledge of probate law can mean the difference between a future of security versus uncertainty.