Law Firm of Michael W. Porter 727-327-7600
When is Probate Necessary?
When a person dies leaving assets that are titled in their name alone, without co-owners or beneficiaries named, those assets must be probated.
Probate is not necessary for assets that are titled jointly with another person, "POD" (payable on death), "ITF" (in trust for), or to which a beneficiary was named. Assets which are titled in the name of a trust, or in the name of a trustee of a trust, also avoid probate. Assets titled in these forms "avoid probate".
Testate vs. Intestate - A "Testate" estate is an estate in which the decedent left a last will and testament directing how their estate will be administered. An "Intestate" estate is an estate in which the decedent did not leave a last will and testament, and is administered according to Florida's laws of intestate succession.
The following will assist you in learning more about Probate Administrations in Florida.
• Formal Administration – A summary of the procedures necessary to probate an estate and appoint a Personal Representative/Executor under Florida law.
• Summary Administration – An abbreviated estate administration for estates with a value of $75,000.00 or less.
• Trust Administration – When a Settlor of a Trust dies or when a Trustee resigns, it may be necessary for the Trust to be administered and distributed according to the terms of the Trust. While this is not considered a "probate" many of the procedures for administering and distributing assets from a Trust are similar to probate. Even though a Trust may "avoid probate", you may need legal advice and assistance in properly administering a Trust.
• Ancillary Administration – An estate administration for the estate of a non Florida resident who dies owning real property located in the State of Florida. The domiciliary administration is opened in the state where the decedent resided at the time of death.
• Determination of Homestead – A proceeding for determining "protected homestead" status of real property which is exempt from the claims of the decedent's creditors when devised to heirs of the decedent, or when passing to heirs of the decedent under Florida's law of intestate succession. Either a Formal Administration or a Summary Administration must also be filed before the court will have jurisdiction to determine whether or not real property is "protected homestead".
• Disposition without Administration – A proceeding for probating personal property, the value of which does not exceed the amount of the decedent's funeral expenses. This type of proceeding does not require an attorney, and can be filed with the assistance of the clerk of court in the Florida County where the decedent resided at the time of death.