The term “probate” generally refers to the court process by which a person’s assets are administered after death. Whether or not an estate is required to go through Probate depends on how the assets of the deceased are held at the time of his or her death. Determining whether an estate is required to go through the probate process depends on whether the decedent had assets in his or her individual name such that it would not pass to another person due to joint ownership. Some assets may pass to third parties if they are titled in the name of the decedent and a third party or if it is an asset with a beneficiary designation that was made prior to the death of the decedent.
The probate process not only deals with the assets of the estate, but also with creditors to whom money is owed out of the assets of the estate. There are certain assets that under some circumstances are exempt from the claims of creditors. For example, homestead real property is exempt from the claims of creditors so long as it is left to certain persons as defined under the applicable Florida laws and the Florida Constitution.
Generally, the ultimate result of a probate proceeding is that creditors claims are paid or otherwise satisfied and the assets of the estate are distributed to the beneficiaries of the estate.
If the decedent had a valid Last Will and Testament, it must be entered into probate in order for the will to effectively pass ownership of the decedent’s probate assets. This is what is referred to as a “Testate” estate. If the decedent did not have a valid Last Will and Testament, it is referred to as an “Intestate” estate and the Florida intestacy statutes determine who receives the assets as beneficiaries of the estate.
Here at Trader Legal, our attorneys handle several types of probate proceedings—Formal Administration, Summary Administration, Ancillary Administration, and Disposition of Personal Property without Administration. Give Trader Legal a call today at (321) 723-6731 to schedule a FREE probate consultation.
Probate Practice Areas
Formal Administration is for estates where the value of the estate is greater than $75,000 or where the value of the estate is less than $75,000 and there are creditors of the estate. Learn More →
Summary Administration is generally available only if the value of the estate subject to probate in Florida, less property that is exempt from the claims of creditors, is not more than $75,000, and there are no creditors of the estate or arrangements have been made to pay the creditors. Summary administration is also available if the decedent has been dead for more than two years and there has been no prior administration. Learn More →
If the decedent was not domiciled in Florida, a domiciliary probate proceeding was filed in another state, and the decedent owned an interest in real estate in Florida at the time of his or her death, an ancillary probate proceeding must be filed in Florida in order to transfer ownership of the Florida assets to the beneficiaries. Learn More →
In certain situations, for smaller estates not involving real property, no administration is required at all. Learn More →