Providing Legal Assistance with Probate throughout Florida.
Types of Probate in Florida
An Overview of the Probate Process in Florida
If there is a Will it is deposited with the court.
The original will (with original signatures, not a photocopy) is deposited with the
Clerk of Court. If there isn’t a will, Florida statutes will determine how the estate is
distributed (See here).
If probate has already been done in another state, a certified copy of the Will and
probate proceedings are requested from that out-of-state court.
A certified death certificate is filed.
A "certified" death certificate is one that is obtained and certified from and by official
sources, such as Vital Records, The Department of Health, a County Clerk, etc.
A petition is filed with the court to open probate proceedings.
If there is a Will, signatures are proven to be valid.
Many wills have what is known as a "self-proving affidavit" that attests to the
signatures on it. If this isn’t present a court will request additional documentation.
Creditors are notified and legal notices are published.
A list of all known creditors is important at the outset of probate.
Petitions for exemption rights are submitted.
Florida grants exemptions from the claims of the unsecured creditors (e.g., medical
debts, credit cards, etc.) against certain assets in the estate, however, if you don't
ask for these rights, they are not given to you.
Expenses and Claims are paid.
After all estate expenses and fees are paid or reimbursed to the party that paid
them, claims filed by creditors are considered for payment.
Accountings are prepared and Assets Distributed.
The Personal Representative must account to the beneficiaries and other interested
parties regarding how they have managed the estate assets during the administration.
The Estate is Closed.
Pleadings are prepared and signed or served on all interested parties attesting
that the administration is complete and asking that the personal representative be
discharged and relieved of further responsibility.
This isn’t an
all-inclusive list but it provides a general overview of how the probate
process begins in Florida. To see a list of the types of probate
available in Florida, click here.
Since I quote a flat fee, I gather a great deal of information during a free initial consultation. You can see more details here. This enables me to calculate how much time it will take to complete the case and from this the amount of the flat fee.
While this approach may involve a little more time up front, the outcome
is that you’ll have a firm fee quote from a Florida probate attorney,
at no charge, and with no obligation to move forward.
I invite you to visit the pages listed across the top of the site, or if
you'd like to speak with a Florida probate attorney, please feel free
to call me toll-free at 866-465-8046, or click here to submit an email inquiry and provide the information indicated above.
Additional Information on Probate in Florida:
Uncontested probate in Florida, unlike other areas of law such as civil litigation or criminal defense, is a process that seldom requires the attorney or client to appear in court. Because of this, the work is done almost exclusively from a distance, either by mail or phone, which saves fees and costs for the client. As such, My Florida Probate handles uncontested probate proceedings throughout the state. It is uncommon for a judge to require an attorney's physical presence at a hearing.
Types of Court Proceedings For Probate in Florida
The following is a brief overview of three types of court proceedings used in Florida to pass title of a decedent's assets to the heirs or beneficiaries.
The term 'testate' means there is a Last Will & Testament.
The term 'intestate' means there is no will.
The term 'decedent' refers to the person who has passed away.
- may be used in the administration of either a Florida resident's or nonresident's estate, when it appears:
(1) The decedent's Will does not direct administration as required by chapter 733.
(2) In either a testate or an intestate estate, the value of the entire estate subject to administration in Florida,
less the value of property exempt from the claims of creditors (e.g., homestead exempted property), does not exceed $75,000, or
the decedent has been dead for more than 2 years.
Admission of Foreign Will to Record
- when someone living outside of Florida (a "nonresident" decedent) dies owning real property in Florida and has a will that is being or has been probated in another state, the estate may qualify to petition the Florida court to admit the decedent's foreign will to record. Once the foreign will is admitted to record by order of the Florida court, the foreign will acts like a deed or muniment of title in the public records transferring the title to the Florida real property to the person(s) named in the will. This special type of court petition has a very narrow application and should be discussed with an attorney to determine if it is appropriate for the estate you are handling.
(Florida Statutes, Chapter 733) - must be used if the decedent's estate does not qualify for Summary administration (i.e. the decedent has not been dead for more than 2 years and the decedent's assets subject to administration in this state exceed $75,000 and/or the Will requires a Formal administration.)
If you would like to speak with someone regarding probate in Florida, you can call
toll free, 866-465-8046 or within Citrus County, 726-5444. Or if you wish to write, you can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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