The Origin of Inheritance Rights
The legal system that we have in the United States is based on Old English Law. The Old English Law placed many restrictions on inheritance and it is what we have used to evolve to our current day laws. Back in the day, inheritance was determined by gender lines, and women were not permitted to receive or even own land. Many countries still follow a system that dictates who you can transfer property to (mainly men).
Our Modern day system for estate planning has evolved tremendously. The system is controlled by the testamentary intent of the person expressed in their will or dictated by State Statute. It is a modern-day concept that says you can give land to almost whomever you want to. There are very limited circumstances where intent will not be followed.
The only restrictions that our legal system places are for public policy reasons or illegal activity. For example, Florida prohibits the right for killers to inherit, for abusive parents to inherit from their children, and for a surviving spouse to be excluded from a will. These are restrictions; however, they are made so that our society governs by not rewarding “bad” people and to ensure that people do not end up as the community’s responsibility. In Florida, you cannot give the homestead to other people if you have minor children and a spouse. They are entitled to an interest in the family home as a protection of the family and to avoid a burden on society.
Each state has different laws, but Lulich Attorneys and Consultants in Sebastian Florida can help give you guidance to what the current laws are. We have a team of Attorneys that can help give you the proper advice that you need so you can distribute your assets the way that you want to.