Probate Law

What Has to Go Through Probate in Florida?

Losing a loved one is never easy, and you may now have to handle their estate. You may have questions as to what has to go through probate in the state of Florida.

In probate, the Florida court will be the entity that will oversee your deceased loved one’s estate and ensure the estate is handled according to the probate laws of Florida.

At Doane&Doane, PA, we are passionate about giving our clients the personalized legal counsel they need to appropriately take care of many major life and death decisions, whether it is estate planning or probate matters.

So, to answer your probate questions, we welcome you to consider contacting us at Doane&Doane, PA for estate planning advice and services.  You can contact us today at 561-656-0200 or fill out our online contact form.

What Property and/or Assets Need to Go Through Florida Probate?

It is extremely rare for a person to die and not have assets that require probate.  Some of the most common assets that are subject to Florida probate include, but aren’t limited to:

1. Property or assets that were owned only by your deceased loved one such as a car or real estate.
2. Any share of the deceased’s property that was owned as ‘tenants in common.’ As an example, if your deceased loved one owned commercial property with a friend or relative as an investment.
3. Bank accounts or investments held in the deceased’s name only.
4.  Art and any collectibles.
5. House or other real estate owned in the deceased’s name only.
6. Contents of any safety deposit boxes.
7. A life insurance policy that fails to name a beneficiary, or the named beneficiary has died

Who Is In Charge of the Florida Estate?

The person who was named executor in your deceased loved one’s Last Will and Testament is responsible for opening a case in the Florida probate court and seeing it through to its conclusion.

If your loved one died without a will or didn’t name an executor, the Florida probate court will appoint someone to serve in that capacity.

It is always wise to hire a knowledgeable Florida probate attorney to assist you with the Florida probate process and the probate attorney can be paid from the money in the estate.

What is Summary Administration in Florida?

The state of Florida has a probate process that is simplified called a Summary Administration. In order for your deceased loved one’s estate to qualify for Summary Administration it must meet one of the following requirements:

1. The estate must have a value of $75,000 or less; or
2. Your loved one has to have been dead longer than two (2) years.

Additionally, the state of Florida has an exception for the personal property owned by your loved one. If personal property is valued at $20,000 or less, as well as two motor vehicles, these items can be transferred without having to go through the probate process.

How Long is the Probate Process in Florida?

In the state of Florida, the majority of estates can be probated in eight months to a year.  However, if the estate requires litigation, or there is fighting between the beneficiaries or other parties, it could take much longer to conclude probate and close the estate.

How Long Do I Have to File Probate After the Death of a Loved One in Florida?

The first step in the probate process is to file the Last Will and Testament of your loved one within 10 days of their death.

If the estate is required to be probated, the court will have to validate your loved one’s will to determine how any assets should be distributed.

Can Probate Be Avoided in the State of Florida?

It may be possible to avoid probate in the state of Florida, but it will take careful planning by you before you pass away. One of the ways to avoid having your estate go to probate is to set up a living trust that contains all of your assets. This way, when you pass away, the trust beneficiary will receive any assets contained in the trust.

Another way you may be able to avoid Florida probate is to name beneficiaries to as many of your assets as possible before you die. You can do this with investment accounts, retirement accounts, life insurance policies, etc.

The key is for the parties involved to get the help of an experienced estate planning attorney.

Look to Doane&Doane for Help with Estate Planning Options

Founded in 2003 by husband and wife legal team, Randell C. Doane and Rebecca G. Doane, Doane&Doane provides legal and financial services to families, individuals, and businesses throughout Southeast Florida.

Estate planning and probate is about much more than just giving away property. It is an act of love and kindness, with the ultimate goal of providing for the future financial security of your loved one. At Doane&Doane, our Wills and Trusts Attorneys in West Palm Beach help people plan for retirement, make provisions for loved ones, figure out future child support, and minimize tax liability. Experienced wills and trusts attorneys know which tools to use to get the best results for their clients. Our lawyers can help you determine which tools are best suited to your specific circumstances.

When it comes to probate matters, such as the formal administration of an estate, Florida fiduciaries seek the assistance of the attorneys at Doane&Doane, P.A. to administer and manage their trusts and estates.  Notably, the founding partners of Doane&Doane are board-certified West Palm Beach Probate Attorneys. With the additional advantage of certified public accountancy in their backgrounds, they present a unique combination of skills and experience which enables them to effectively settle, administer, and manage clients’ trusts and estates.

Call us at Doane&Doane, P.A., to help you if you are faced with a probate matter, or if you would like estate planning services in Florida.  You can reach us at 561-656-0200.  Call us today.

The information in this blog post is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. You should not decide whether or not to contact an attorney based upon the information in this blog post. No attorney-client relationship is formed, nor should any such relationship be implied. If you require legal advice, please consult with an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.