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When can I use temporary intestacy during estate planning?

On Behalf of | May 3, 2024 | Estate Planning

Intestacy happens when someone dies without a last will and testament. Since they did not mention how to distribute their property in a will, the courts will determine the beneficiaries based on Florida’s inheritance statute.

Temporary intestacy, on the other hand, is a short-term situation involving someone who has a will. The premise is that the testator has a valid will and wants to modify it immediately. However, the current will is no longer in accordance with the testator’s wishes.

An interim estate planning solution

There are several instances when testators may prefer to be without a will for the time being. They might be involved in lawsuits or are currently updating their estate plan. The Florida Bar mentioned some examples of when temporary intestacy may be beneficial for testators:

  • After a breakup: A testator may assign their significant other as the primary beneficiary. But when they break up, the testator may resort to intestacy as an immediate action while waiting for the execution of their updated will that excludes their former lover.
  • During separation or divorce proceedings: Married couples might favor intestacy so that the courts will follow inheritance laws instead of their existing wills. This may happen when a spouse dies during their separation or while the courts have not yet finalized their divorce.
  • Deciding to name all their children as beneficiaries: A testator who did not assign all their children as beneficiaries may change their mind. While updating the will to add their excluded children, the testator may choose intestacy. This would ensure that all children will get their share in case the testator dies during the estate planning process.

Meanwhile, temporary intestacy is not viable when a testator only wants to change their charitable beneficiaries. If they still want to leave out their intestate heirs, then they should not cancel their current will while updating it.

Ensuring the fulfillment of your wishes

Choosing temporary intestacy requires a testator to revoke their current will by writing or by act. With legal support, you may update your estate plan and make sound decisions to ensure that your wishes after death will be fulfilled.


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