On Sunday night flipping channels to see a few minutes of tv I happened to see part of the show Desperate Housewives. The interesting thing to me and this blog is that one character who was the mom of a woman who had just killed themself told her husband that he had effectively bought her a home since he had bought several pieces of real estate and one he had put into her daughters sole name. He said that she did not have a will and he was her spouse so he would receive her property anyway which would be correct. She then said that she had found an old will from prior to they were married and that all the property in the will went to her as a result.
That would not be accurate in Florida or most if not all jurisdictions in the US since even if the will had the required 2 witnesses and even if it were self proved with a notary as it should be the will would not validly pass the property given the concept of a pre termitted spouse. That means that they were married after a will was executed and it was not in contemplation of marriage or having mentioned him. Since they got married after the will was executed the spouse gets their intestate share and since they had no children together that would be everything. While they live on a fictional lane in Florida the law for pre termitted spouses can be found by clicking here. It may not have advanced the plot they wanted to show although having the discussion and making the point that the will was prior to the marriage and there was no pre nuptial agreement just showed they were operating in a fictional tv environment as far as wills and inheritance law are concerned. People should be aware though that if there is no pre nuptial agreement and there are no children but there is a will prior to their marriage unless the slayer statute applies or the marriage is properly challenged the spouse will receive all the property passing through the probate estate of the decedent.