If you have recently experienced the death of a loved one or friend, you may be asking what to do now. Among your first questions may be whether a probate will be required and if you should seek the advice of a probate attorney.
Probate Administration in Florida
In Florida, probate is a court supervised process that is required whenever there are assets titled in the name of a deceased person. This court process is necessary for identifying and gathering the probate assets in order to transfer them to the rightful heirs or beneficiaries.
The cost of probate can range from 3% to 5% of the value of the gross estate regardless of debt. If the deceased person held also property in states other than Florida at the time of their death, a probate known as an “ancillary administration” may be required in each of those states as well.
Probate ensures that claims of the deceased person’s creditors, expenses of administration and appropriate taxes are properly paid. Probate also serves as the process of distributing assets from the decedent’s individual name to the proper beneficiary.
If the decedent leaves a valid last will and testament in Florida, it must be admitted to probate in the court. If the last will is not admitted, it will be ineffective to pass title to the beneficiaries. If the decedent has no will, probate is still necessary to pass ownership of the assets to those persons who are to receive them under Florida law.
If a Florida revocable living trust was created, a probate may or may not be necessary depending upon how the estate assets were titled. Alternatively a Florida trust administration may be required, but the good news is that this is a simpler process requiring little or no court involvement.
Types of Probate Administration in Florida
- Formal Administration
- Summary Administration
- Disposition without Administration (very limited circumstances)
- Ancillary Administration
- Administration for Non-Citizens
The state of Florida requires the involvement of a licensed Florida attorney in all probate proceedings. Contact us today to get started or for a free probate analysis.
The Gibbs Law Office is a Florida estate planning law firm that provides complete Estate Planning, Business Planning, Asset Protection, Elder and Medicaid Planning, Real Estate, Probate and Trust Administration legal services throughout the greater Fort Myers, North Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Estero, Bonita Springs and Naples geographic areas and most legal services are available statewide in Florida.
The Gibbs Law Office was founded in January 2009 upon the commitment to provide client-centered legal services.