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Probate

When someone dies owning property in Florida, Florida laws govern the transfer of ownership of that property. The legal process is called probate and it is controls the process of distributing assets that did not have a listed beneficiary and that were owned solely by the decedent.  Probate generally involves: submitting the Will; having a Personal Representative appointed; collecting and organizing the decedent’s individually named property, preparing a list of the assets of the estate, paying creditors, transferring ownership of the estate’s property to the beneficiaries/heirs and closing the estate. 

FLORIDA PROBATE ADMINISTRATION

Formal Administration

A formal administration is required when the decedent has been dead for two years or less and when the value of the probate estate exceeds $75,000. The probate estate consists of those assets that were owned solely by the decedent with no named beneficiary.  Property owned jointly with a spouse or property held with the right of survivorship does not pass through probate and neither does property with a named beneficiary.  The process starts with the application by a qualified individual to be appointed personal representative. Creditors must be notified and given an opportunity to present their claims to the personal representative. Once the assets have been collected and the creditors have been satisfied, then the personal representative must account to the beneficiaries for the period of administration and distribute the assets to them. Upon successful completion of administration, the personal representative is discharged from any further duties and liabilities and the estate is closed.  This process typically takes less than a year however it may be longer.

Summary Administration

A Summary Administration is used when the value of the probate estate does not exceed $75,000 or when the decedent has been dead for more two years.  The value of the homestead is not taken into the calculation of the $75,000.00.  This process starts with the filing of the paid funeral bill, paid expenses of last illness, the will and the death certificate.  This process typically takes less than three months however it may be longer. 

Ancillary Probate Administration

When a non resident property owner dies, an ancillary administration is required.  Typically, an uncontested Ancillary Probate matter can be handled rather easily.  An uncontested ancillary probates can be resolved through summary proceedings with no formal hearings in less than 6 months. 

Don’t leave a burden like this behind to your loved ones. Make sure you have your affairs in order by speaking to us about your living willlast will and testament, and estate planning. Call the leading probate attorney in Coconut Creek and Margate!

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