Probate is the necessary legal process to distribute the deceased’s property to any beneficiaries named in a will or according to Florida’s intestate succession laws.
It can be a long process, but it does not have to be as long as many people think. There are two main types of probate. There is formal administration and summary administration.
Formal administration is what people typically think of when they think about probate. This process requires filling out petitions and submitting the will to the court.
The personal representative will need to prove the identities of the beneficiaries and creditors and receive approval from the court to pay debts and distribute property.
In this process, there is a fair amount of court supervision and many actions taken by the personal representative will need court approval.
In some cases, Florida law allows for a shorter process known as summary administration. To qualify for this process, certain requirements must be met.
To qualify, the decedent’s probate estate must have a total value of less than $75,000. Alternatively, the decedent must have been deceased for more than two years.
Personal representatives still need to file a petition with the court and a judge needs to approve the petition, but after that, the personal representative does not need to involve the court until they provide it with a final accounting.
Probate is not something that people in Florida look forward to after they lose a loved one, but it is something they will have to do. It is important to understand the options available for administration to hopefully make the process as painless as possible.