There are two types of probate cases in Florida – summary administration and formal administration. If the estate has a value of less than $75,000, excluding the homestead, summary administration will most likely be the best approach. Summary administration allows the beneficiaries to present information to the court such as who they are, if there is a will, and any assets of the decedent. The court will review these pleadings and transfer the assets without the need for publication. It is generally a quicker and simpler process as compared to formal administration.
Formal administration is utilized if the estate has a value of more than $75,000 or occasionally if there may be creditors of the decedent. The same initial pleadings are filed in both summary and formal administration, but there are additional pleadings filed in formal administration. A beneficiary or someone named in the Last Will and Testament will petition the court to be appointed as the personal representative. Once that person is appointed, there must be two publications in a local periodical for creditors. The beneficiaries must then wait 3 months before any disbursements can be made. If there are creditors, we will work with those places to resolve their claims prior to any disbursements. Once creditor claims are resolved and disbursements are made, the case will be closed.
As you may notice above, it is beneficial to go through the summary administration process if you can. Make sure that you have designated your primary residence as your homestead. If you’d like more information on the homestead exemption, please go here: https://www.leonpa.gov/E-File/Homestead-Exemption. Also, list beneficiaries on all accounts that you are able to such as retirement and bank accounts. This will help your beneficiaries receive some funds while your estate is pending. It is also important to have a valid Last Will and Testament that will spell out your personal representative as well as beneficiaries.
An attorney’s understanding of state-specific probate laws and regulations ensures compliance and minimizes the risk of costly errors or disputes. When you hire our team, we can mitigate potential challenges, streamline the administration process, and achieve a timely and fair resolution, all while alleviating the burden and stress associated with your probate matters.
Learn how our team can help with probate – https://tallahasseetriallawyer.com/probate/