Family Maintenance Allowances During Estate Administration
Your spouse has recently passed. You have two children and a house to keep up. You are not sure what to do about the bills, as half of the income that was used to pay bills stopped when your spouse passed away. You are dealing with the emotional toll that follows after a loved one’s death; the last thing you want to think about is how you are going to continue to pay your utility bills, mortgage, insurances for your house, vehicle and family, as well the weekly grocery bill. You are unsure of how long it will take for your spouse’s estate to be completed through the court system. Where do you come up with the extra money in the meantime?
Under Florida statute 732.403, you may be entitled to a family allowance out of your spouse’s estate during the estate administration. If your spouse resided in Florida at the time of his or her death, you and any of your spouse’s biological children, which he or she was supporting or was obligated to support, are entitled to a reasonable allowance out of the estate while it is going through administration. The reasonable allowance is strictly for maintenance of your spouse’s lineal heirs and you. You may receive the allowance in a lump sum, or, in periodic payments, depending on what the court orders. If the court orders a maintenance allowance to be paid, it will be paid out to you, to be used by you and any dependent biological children, and all payments made will not exceed $18,000. If your spouse had biological children that he or she was obligated to support, but those children did not reside with you and your spouse, the maintenance allowance would be divvied up between you and to the person who had custody of the biological children that did not reside with you and your spouse. Any allowance that you or any of your spouse’s biological children receive may not be charged against any benefit you or your spouse’s biological children are entitled to from the estate, unless your spouse’s will specifically states that it shall be. If you or any of the biological children who are entitled to receive family support pass away during the period in which the family maintenance allowance is payable, any unpaid support to the person who passes away is terminated and the estate is not obligated to pay additional support to any heirs of that person, unless the heirs would have already been entitled to the family maintenance support (such as biological children which you and your spouse shared).
Our Attorneys Can Help You
If are unsure of how to bring your spouse’s estate forward, and how to receive maintenance allowance during estate administration, it is important to have the support of an experienced Florida probate attorney, to be sure that all the proper procedures are followed and your needs are being met in the interim. If you have questions about family and spousal maintenance during estate administration, contact the experienced Florida attorneys at Carnal & Mansfield, P.A. for a consultation today.