If a person dies without a will, they will be considered to have died intestate, from the Latin in + testamentum (lit. “not having a will”).
When a person dies intestate, the person’s estate is administered according to the default Florida Probate Code, Ch. 732, Fl. Stat. (or whatever their state of residence was). The first step is for the probate court to appoint a personal representative to oversee the administration of the estate.
Eventually, after any creditors have been paid, the remaining property will be distributed to the heirs and beneficiaries. Unfortunately, this distribution is also done according to the order of priority in the Probate Code, not the wishes the deceased.
Because the probate process is such a hassle, expensive, and cumbersome, it’s critical to draft a legal valid will in advance that addresses these issues.