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March 15, 2023

Probate is a legal process that may occur after someone passes away if the decedent left assets behind owned solely in their name (meaning the asset was not owned jointly and did not have designated beneficiaries). The purpose of probate is to ensure that the deceased’s assets are distributed to their heirs at law if there was no will left behind, or to their intended beneficiaries listed in their will. Florida probate is similar to probate in other states, but there are some unique aspects to Florida probate that make it important to understand.

In Florida, there are two types of probate: formal administration and summary administration. Formal administration is proper when the estate is valued at more than $75,000 or when there is real property (that is not homestead) that needs to be transferred. Summary administration is proper when the estate is valued at less than $75,000.

Summary Administration does not require that a personal representative be appointed.  Instead, with the help of an experienced Florida probate attorney, the interested person will file a petition and submit all supporting documents to the court for review (such as a certified copy of the death certificate, paid funeral bill and other important documents).

With formal administration, a personal representative must be appointed and they will be responsible for managing the estate.

The personal representative’s duties typically include:

  • Collecting and managing the decedant’s assets;
  • Negotiating and Paying any outstanding debts;
  • Distributing the assets to the heirs at law or beneficiaries listed in the decedent’s will

Formal administration has a mandatory 3-month creditor period which allows for unknown and known creditors an opportunity to submit a claim against the estate.  All liquid estate assets must be held in an estate account until the conclusion of this 3-month creditor period (although the Judge may order funds to be released in some instances, such as bill pay).

Probate can be a complex and time-consuming process, but it is important to ensure that the deceased’s assets are distributed according to their wishes. If you have lost loved one and are in need of assistance with an estate in Florida, it is important to work with an experienced probate attorney who can guide you through the process and ensure that everything is done correctly.

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Our attorney has helped individuals throughout the entire state of Florida. Our team is here to help make this difficult time in your life a bit easier. We work hard to ensure your case is handled efficiently, effectively and timely. Call today to schedule your consultation. (954) 999-9683