Losing a loved one is never easy and the stress of administering an estate can become overwhelming. Levy & Associates can guide you through the complicated probate court system, and stand ready to do what it takes to settle the estate, whether it involves a simple transfer of property or complex litigation. Effective estate administration involves many factors, including federal and state income and estate tax laws as well as any potential international implications of a particular plan’s provisions. Time and again, our attorneys have been trusted during emotionally difficult times to ensure the efficient and orderly administration of estates of all sizes.
Forms of Probate
There are a few different types of probate, depending on the facts and circumstances of the estate.
- Disposition without administration—for very small estates where the assets do not exceed funeral expenses and medical expenses incurred shortly before death
- Summary Administration—for estates where the value does not exceed $75,000 or it has been greater than two years since death
- Formal Administration—for estates that exceed $75,000
- Ancillary Administration—required when a non-Florida resident owns real property in Florida
Florida law requires the Personal Representative of the estate to notify all known creditors of the decedent and publish a Notice to Creditors in the local newspaper. Florida law also provides a time limit for creditors to come forward and file their claim. At Levy & Associates, P.A., we work diligently to notify creditors in a timely manner to ensure their time limit begins as soon as possible.
Under Florida law some property of the decedent is considered exempt from creditors. Perhaps the most important asset that is exempt from creditors is the person’s homestead. It is important that the beneficiaries file the proper paperwork to protect the homestead and other exempt property. The attorneys at Levy & Associates, P.A. assist families in making sure exempt property is properly protected from creditors and transferred to the beneficiaries. If improper estate planning as occurred, the special homestead protections might be lost, so speaking with an attorney before death is critical.
How long will probate take?
Florida rules require formal administration to be completed within one year, unless extended for a particular reason, such as a pending wrongful death claim. Creditors of the decedent have three months to file a claim after the estate is opened, therefore estates that require formal administration have to be open for at least that long. The time frame for formal administration depends on the facts of each case. At Levy & Associates, P.A., we work diligently with clients and families to administer the estate as efficiently as possible under Florida law.
For estates that qualify for Summary Administration, the process can be much shorter, depending on the county and facts and circumstances of each case.
At Levy & Associates, P.A., we handle ancillary probate throughout the state of Florida for non-Florida residents who own real property in Florida.
Both Formal and Summary administration is available to non-Florida residents.
– DISCLAIMER –
The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established. Levy & Associates does not represent you unless you complete an intake form and until a representation agreement is signed by you and by one of our attorneys.