Florida provides two different types of probate. As noted by the Florida Bar, property may transfer to heirs through either a formal administration or summary administration process.
With a formal process, the probate court settles the deceased’s financial matters. The process may include, however, a personal representative resolving the deceased’s outstanding taxes and debts. Creditors and health care providers may file claims to receive their final payments from the estate.
Complex estates may require formal administration
Estates with numerous assets or properties generally require a formal probate process to transfer ownership. By creating a will, an individual names a personal representative or executor to oversee the transfer process in probate court. According to Florida law, the individual must reside in the Sunshine State.
As noted by U.S. News, the probate process includes changing the names on the titles from the deceased to the heirs. The court first verifies the will’s validity and confirms payment of the deceased’s debts. An heir who inherits a house may need to legally agree to assume its mortgage loan.
Florida law may allow summary administration
Section 735.201 of the Florida Statutes allows for a less formal process called summary administration for estates not exceeding $75,000 in value. Alternatively, a personal representative may submit the will for summary administration two years after the date of the deceased’s death regardless of the estate’s value.
If heirs do not intend to contest a will, the estate’s representative may submit it to the probate court for the summary process. Waiting for at least two years past the date of death may prevent the deceased’s creditors from filing a claim for unpaid debts.
The Sunshine State offers individuals options when submitting a will for probate. Based on the deceased’s assets and debts, heirs may consider the various outcomes before contacting the probate court.