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Abbreviated Probate Procedures

Going through the process of probate can be overwhelming even if only part of the estate is passing through probate in Florida. This is why it is important to retain the services of an experienced Florida abbreviated probate procedures attorney. A Florida abbreviated probate procedures lawyer will be able to help you with all aspects of carrying your estate through probate. This can be very valuable for an administrator who wants to stay on top of all of the details and ensure that he or she has the relevant information.

The Administration of Estate law is found in the Florida Statutes, Chapter 733. Families are mandated to go through formal administration if the decedent died less than two years ago and the probate estate’s value is higher than $75,000. The gross estate value and the value of the probate estate are not considered the same. The procedures will likely be the same unless there are extenuating circumstances. You can schedule a consultation with a lawyer to get a better idea of what to anticipate.

The gross estate includes all of things which the decedent had interest. The type of property does not matter nor does the location matter. This term was coined by the IRS. The estate to be probated includes the assets owned only by the decedent. This could include sole named retirement accounts without a named beneficiary, a bank account only in their name, a house that is in the decedent's name and another person’s name that common tenants, and more. The formal process includes the qualified fiduciary application from the person who will be the personal representative of the estate.

The court may require the person to be bonded or may place restrictions on the bank account instead of bond. This is called a restricted depository and it’s a bank account that requires a court order before withdrawals can be made. The probate process can be as short as six months or it can take several years. The length is determined by the case’s complexity and whether or not there is a challenge.

An abbreviated probate procedures attorney in Florida may be able to help you reduce the time spent in this effort. For small estates, abbreviated probate may be an option. This is when you dispose of the personal property and don’t go through administration and receive a summary administration. This can be done if the following two factors are true:

  • The value of all of the estate for probate located in Florida, minus any exempted property, is not more than $75,000 and the person died more than two years ago. Or,
  • In a teste estate, one in which the decedent had a will but the will does not require direct administration.

An existing statute in Florida prohibits claims against an estate that are past two years. The second type of abbreviated probate administration is personal property disposition that does not involve administration. It’s really not administration because it simply requires filing one pleading which can be done with an affidavit letter and the court ultimately issues an order. This can only be done if the decedent’s personal property was exempt and that nonexempt property is not more than the value of the amount of funeral expenses. The maximum for this is $6,000. Given the complexity of these issues, it is important to retain an attorney who has been practicing in this field for years and one who has extensive knowledge of what is necessary to protect the rights of the estate and the involved beneficiaries. Consulting with an experienced lawyer is necessary.

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