According to the Law Offices of Adrian Philip Thomas, the spouse is usually the first beneficiary, but the descendants of the deceased qualify if the spouse is deceased. To avoid legal confusion, it is important to name each beneficiary in a will instead of using generalities such as "my children."Know More
The Law Offices of Adrian Philip Thomas further notes that the decedent's mother and father become beneficiaries if there are no descendants. If there is no mother and father to speak of, the siblings of the deceased qualify for inheritance. If the brother or sister are deceased, then the estate is divided along paternal and maternal lines to the closest living relatives, such as grandparents, aunts and uncles. If none of the aforementioned are alive, other surviving family members become beneficiaries.
Children born out of wed-lock are not eligible for inheritance unless the father specifically claimed that child legally. Certain exceptions are made, such as exhuming the body for DNA testing to prove the child is legally entitled to property and possessions. If the father is alive, then a DNA test is satisfactory. Without a DNA test from the father, it is difficult for children born of out of wed-lock to claim inheritance rights. Step-children are not eligible to inherit possessions in Florida, unless specifically stated in a will or if they are adopted.Learn more about Financial Planning
Gregor Mendel discovered three principles of heredity: that the inheritance of each trait or "gene" is determined by the units that are passed down via descendants unchanged, that an individual will get one unit from each of their parents for each trait and that a trait may not show up in one individual yet it can still be passed on to a descendant. Mendel is known as the father of genetics, which is the study of understanding what happens in the transfer of genes from parents to children.Full Answer >
Websites that allow users to find attorneys who specialize in family inheritance include Lawyers.com and Nolo. Lawyers.com allows users to search by state, while Nolo offers the option to search by type of practice.Full Answer >
If there is no will in place to determine who inherits a decedent's assets, the order of inheritance is determined by state law, which varies, according to Nolo. Generally, spouses, domestic partners and blood relatives inherit, with spouses receiving the largest portion of the estate. In most states, the inheritance then goes to children, followed by relatives.Full Answer >
The difference between per capita and per stirpes estate distribution is that per stirpes distribution allows the inheritance to pass down the line from the original inheritor to subsequent inheritors. A per capita bequest ceases with the death of the original beneficiary rather than passing to his estate.Full Answer >