Florida Probate Procedures

If property in a decedent’s estate in Florida does not fall under non-probate assets, contract assets, or joint tenancy property, that property will fall under one of three categories: disposition without administration, summary administration, or formal probate proceedings.

Disposition without Administration

Estates worth less than $6,000, plus the medical and hospital costs covering the decedent’s last 60 days, can be dealt with via disposition without administration, a simplified process for settling the estate.

Summary Administration

Estates worth $75,000 or less, or in which the decedent died more than 2 years ago, are distributed via summary administration, a process that any successor can apply for after the decedent’s death. For a case to qualify for summary administration, there must be no dispute as to who the property belongs to or whether there are debts to be paid. In addition, the will of the decedent must be administrated without an executor. The $75,000 figure does not include property which is exempt from creditors, and usually does not include a homestead (primary home and surrounding lands).

Formal Probate Proceedings

Since Florida law uses acreage and location to determine a home’s inclusion in the estate, the determination can be complex. Even more complex are formal probate proceedings, which cover disputed estates and estates worth more than $75,000. These proceedings take place primarily via mail, but disputes may force potential beneficiaries to physically appear in Florida probate court. An experienced Florida probate attorney is advised for formal probate proceedings in Florida.

For more information about the probate process in Florida, follow this link: http://law.freeadvice.com/estate_planning/probate/florida-probate-the-basics.htm.