Probate is a legal process that takes place after someone passes away. It includes:
1. Formal Administration
This type of Probate action is necessary when the assets of the estate exceed $75,000, and/or when it is necessary to appoint a personal representative to act on behalf of the estate.
Formal administration proceedings are initiated by filing a petition requesting the appointment of a personal representative. In Florida, it is required that an attorney be hired to represent the personal representative. Once appointed by the court, the personal representative is responsible for the estate, paying all debts of the decedent and distributing the balance of the estate to the entitled beneficiaries.
2. Summary Administration
May be filed if the value of the estate subject to probate in Florida (less property which is exempt from the claims of creditors; for example, homestead real property in many circumstances) is not more than $75,000, and if the decedent’s debts are paid, or the creditors do not object. Those who receive the estate assets in a summary administration generally remain liable for claims against the decedent for two years after the date of death. Summary administration is also available if the decedent has been dead for more than two years and there has been no prior administration.
3. Disposition Without Administration
May be filed if the probate estate assets consist solely of property classified as exempt from the claims of the decedent’s creditors by Florida law and non-exempt personal property, the value of which does not exceed the total of (1) the amount of preferred funeral expenses; and (2) the amount of all reasonable and necessary medical and hospital expenses incurred in the last 60 days of the decedent’s final illness, if any.
Please contact Attorney Alvarez to determine which type of administration is appropriate for your situation.