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Home / Practice Areas / Probate and Estate Administration

What is Probate?

Probate is a court supervised process of paying debts of a person that passed and distributing the remainder of his or her assets to the appropriate beneficiaries or heirs. Probate is required whenever a person dies owning something in their name alone, and whether the person passes away with or without a will. Click {HERE} to determine if your loved one’s estate needs probate.

What is Summary Administration?

Summary Administration in Florida is a simplified, quicker and less expensive type of probate administration. Summary administration is appropriate when the assets of the person who passed away are less than $75,000, NOT including their main home, known in Florida as homestead OR if the decedent passed away more than two years ago. No personal representative or executor is appointed in Summary Administration and it is not always the right type of administration if the decedent had creditors.  Read more about Summary Administration {HERE}.

What is Formal Administration?

Formal Administration is the type of probate in which an executor, known in Florida as Personal Representative, is appointed by the court to oversee the process of gathering assets, paying debts and making distributions. Formal administration, even when everyone involved is in agreement, can take 12 months or more. Formal administration is required by Florida law when assets of the decedent are more than $75,000, not including the decedent’s homestead and the decedent has been gone for less than 2 years. Formal administration is usually the best way to deal with creditors of the decedent.  Read more about Formal Administration HERE.

What is Ancillary Administration?

Ancillary Administration is the type of probate that is required when a non-resident of Florida dies owning property in Florida. It is almost always real estate. Ancillary administration can be handled by Formal or Summary Administration. Read more about Ancillary Administration {HERE}.

How Much Does Probate Cost?

Costs of a typical estate administration usually consist of the court filing fee, which is between $250 and $406, cost to publish notice to creditors in the newspaper, postage and other miscellaneous expenses.  Attorney fee for Formal Administration is typically 3% of the estate’s assets, not including the decedent’s home.  Bevilacqua Law charges flat fees for Summary administration, and depending on the complexity of the probate, range from $1,500 to $3,500. Florida Statute 733.6171 gives guidance on what is considered reasonable attorney compensation.  Click HERE to schedule a 15 minute telephone call with attorney Natalia Bevilacqua to determine cost of your loved one’s probate.

How Do I Sell a Home of a Relative That Passed?

Even before you contact a realtor, speak to an attorney.  First step is to review the deed to the property, which is available online in most of Florida’s counties.  Then, a determination must be made of how the property is owned and whether there is a valid will and basic family information must be gathered.  Probate may or may not be required, and an attorney will guide you through the process of determining this.  A word of caution: if you have not been living in the property for an extensive time, be extra cautions about how you fill out the the Seller’s Disclosure.  Click HERE to schedule a 15 minute telephone call with attorney Natalia Bevilacqua regarding selling your loved one’s home.

What is Intestate Succession? What Happens to Person’s Property In Florida When They Die Without A Will?

When a Florida Resident dies without a will (this is called “intestate”) there are laws that dictate how their assets are distributed.  

First of all, if the person that died had a spouse, and neither they nor their spouse had any children with anyone else, other than with each other, the spouse gets everything.

If either the person that died or their spouse had children with anyone else, other than with each other, surviving spouse receives one-half of the assets and the deceased person’s children share the other half.

If the person died without a spouse, his or her children share everything equally.

If the person died without a spouse or children, then their mother and father receive half each, or if there is only one parent living, that parent receives everything.

If the person died without a spouse, without children, and their parents are also gone, then the deceased person’s siblings share everything equally.

There are just basics, and reality is more complicated and so are are real families.  If you have a family member that passed away without a will, and you have questions about inheritance, call 561-877-1515 or click HERE to schedule a 15 minute telephone call with attorney Natalia Bevilacqua.