The Florida slayer statute prevents a person whose actions resulted in the death of another person from receiving any assets from the victim’s estate. This means if a person murders another person, the murderer is not entitled to receive any property under the victim’s will or through intestacy. One of the main purposes of the slayer statute is to deter a person from procuring the death of another in order to receive assets from the victim’s estate.

 

When is a killer blocked from receiving property from a victim’s estate?

Under section 732.802(1), Florida Statutes, “A surviving person who unlawfully and intentionally kills or participates in procuring the death of the decedent is not entitled to any benefits under the will or under the Florida Probate Code, and the estate of the decedent passes as if the killer had predeceased the decedent. Property apportioned by the will of the decedent to or for the benefit of the killer passes as if the killer had predeceased the decedent.” Section 732.802, Florida Statutes also includes other instances when a killer will not be entitled to any of the victim’s property including if the killer is a joint tenant with the victim, if the killer is a named beneficiary on a bond or other financial instrument, or if there is any other “acquisition of a property interest” by the killer.

 

How does the slayer statute work when a beneficiary or heir killed the decedent?

The first element that needs to happen before the slayer statute takes effect is that there needs to be a showing that the beneficiary or heir actually procured the death of the decedent. Under section 732.802(5), Florida Statutes, if there is “a conviction of murder in any degree” that a beneficiary or heir killed the decedent, then there is conclusive proof that the beneficiary or heir is not entitled to receive any property from the decedent. Therefore, if a person is convicted of murder of the decedent, then there is really no issue in making sure the Florida probate court prevents the murderer from receiving any assets from the decedent’s estate.

The first element that needs to happen before the slayer statute takes effect is that there needs to be a showing that the beneficiary or heir actually procured the death of the decedent. Under section 732.802(5), Florida Statutes, if there is “a conviction of murder in any degree” that a beneficiary or heir killed the decedent, then there is conclusive proof that the beneficiary or heir is not entitled to receive any property from the decedent. Therefore, if a person is convicted of murder of the decedent, then there is really no issue in making sure the Florida probate court prevents the murderer from receiving any assets from the decedent’s estate.

 

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If you think you may need to open probate for a loved one’s estate, contact us today to schedule a free consultation. During our consultation one of our attorneys can go over the probate process with you and may be able to answer any questions you may have about it.

 

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