Probate Administration

Handling the affairs of a deceased individual is not the same for any one person. One aspect that is a common requirement is handling the transfer of probate assets, the assets that may only be transferred through the probate process with the applicable Florida probate laws and rules. As simple as everyone would like legal issues to be, the legal process and the applicable probate laws are exceedingly intricate and tend to be multifaceted due to the unique circumstances of the primary individual unfortunately not available to speak on his or her behalf. So, the law requires us to rely on specific details, processes, and other methods to handle legal rights and the last wishes of the deceased person.

The term probate is used to describe the legal process of managing and resolving a deceased individual’s last wishes pertaining to transferring assets, paying debts, and, at times, exercising rights or obligations pursuant to the law. A probate petition is commonly filed by one or more of the designated personal representatives in a decedent’s Will (The term personal representative is commonly known as an executor in other states). There are also times when a person dies intestate, or without a valid enforceable Will, and a petition to open a probate estate is filed by one or more of the beneficiaries. While the probate process is usually conducted in a handful of scenarios, the family and personal relationships of a decedent are frequently getting more complex and unique requiring a skilled and trained lawyer to maneuver through the hurdles of handling the administration of a probate estate.

In Florida, there are a few different types of probate administration procedures that include formal administration, summary administration, and ancillary administration. The most common is a formal administration which is the de facto method if the specific requirements are not applicable for a summary or ancillary administration.

Summary Administration:
As its name describes, is a quicker process and requires less filings, however, is only applicable in 2 scenarios.

  1. The estate must contain less than $75,000 in non-exempt assets; or
  2. A minimum of 2 years has passed since the decedent died.

Other Requirements for Summary Administration:

  • The filing is in the county where the decedent lived
  • The petitioner, who is the person filing the request for a summary administration by way of a Petition, may be a person appointed the personal representative in the decedent’s Will, or by any beneficiary
  • If the decedent was legally married at date of death, then the surviving spouse must sign and verify the Petition
  • There are some varying requirements contingent on the circumstances that are best identified during the initial stages of filing a probate petition.

A limitation on summary administration is the need to address other legal issues handled during the probate process

A limitation on summary administration is the need to address other legal issues handled during the probate process

Ancillary Administration:
As its name describes, is a secondary or alternative administration for a nonresident of Florida who dies with usually real property located in Florida. However, it may also be to address credits due from Florida residents, liens on real property, or intangible assets located in Florida. This is also a procedure that may be used not only for a nonresident of the state of Florida, but also for nonresident aliens who are domiciled or live in a foreign country. Frequently, nonresident, or foreign individuals will invest or purchase real property in South Florida but are not always aware of the legal complexities associated with both the probate and tax procedures. Other times, a nonresident or foreign individual may be counseled as to Florida law, but not applicable federal estate tax laws that apply to foreign or nonresident decedents.

Anidjar Law is a boutique law firm with the rare dual skillset and knowledge of probate and tax law and handling the complexities when both legal subjects’ cross paths. Anidjar Law’s directive is to provide quality and ethical counsel to its clients throughout the legal processes of probating a loved one’s estate.

Contact Anidjar Law today if you lost a loved one and are experiencing unfamiliar or complicated legal matters during the handling and management of the estate.