Probate, also called “estate administration,” is a court process that transfers assets owned by a deceased person to living people. When someone dies in Florida the things they own go to their family or, if they have a will, to the beneficiaries named in that document.
There are different types of probate administration in Florida.
Summary Administration – Under $75,000
Should real estate form part of the Florida estate of the non-resident or resident and the value of the property not exempt from claims of creditors does not exceed $75,000.00, (over the amount of the exempt Homestead located in Florida) OR the decedent has been dead for more than two years, then a Summary Administration may be taken.
When the non-resident of Florida dies leaving assets including real estate in excess of $75,000.00, and cannot qualify for a summary procedure, then it is necessary to open an Ancillary Administration.
Probate Non-Resident – Foreign Personal Representative Foreign Will to Probate After Two Years from Date of Death
Many estates have already been opened through a probate proceeding outside of Florida called “Domiciliary Proceedings”. Nonetheless, without any proceeding at all, a Personal Representative appointed in the non-Florida jurisdiction may present a certified copy and other documentation to be recorded in a Florida county which will then permit the foreign Personal Representative to satisfy mortgages of record or make modifications therein.
There are many technical aspects to the process which include:
- Notifying creditors and publishing legal notices.
- Conducting and filing an inventory of the deceased’s assets.
- Petitions may need to be filed and letters of administration (often referred to as “letters testamentary”) issued.
- Paying bills, settling with creditors, and filing taxes.
- Adhering to deadlines for all filings, notices, objections, and payments.
- There may be separate procedures – or even lawsuits – required in contentious probate cases.
- Real estate or other property may need to be sold to effect correct distribution of assets or to pay debts.
- Other assets may need to be transferred from the decedent to the beneficiaries.
The Personal Representative can easily get overwhelmed with the many technical responsibilities and legal duties he or she must accomplish to successfully probate the estate. That’s where we come in; guiding the executor, doing the heavy lifting, and making things as easy as possible for the executor throughout the probate process. The bottom line is that we save our clients significant time, money, and stress.