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A Simple Guide to Florida Probate

A Simple Guide to Florida Probate

Attorney Herbert L. Allen, Jr., provides estate planning services, as well as legal services for probate, living trusts, summary administration, formal administration, and guardianship, in Satellite Beach, Melbourne Beach, Indialantic, Melbourne, Eau Gallie, Rockledge, Viera, Cocoa Beach, Cocoa, Palm Bay, and all of Florida. If you have been named a personal representative under a Florida will, then Herbert Allen can provide help in understanding the probate process and guiding you through the court system. I have outlined some basics below.


Probate Introduction

Florida Probate law provides different types of probate. In Florida, you may file for Summary Administration, Formal Administration, or Disposition of Personal Property without Administration. Not every estate will qualify for each type of probate. We will need to take time to determine which type of probate may be best. Before you hire a probate attorney, I suggest you discuss attorney's fees with the attorney. Attorney Herbert Allen has experience with Florida probate cases. I answer my own telephone at 321.237.2869 and I welcome your call. Free initial consultation.


Summary Administration

Summary Administration provides a stream-lined form of probate, without appointing a personal representative. In Florida Statute 735.203, you may read about a petition for summary administration. Not every probate estate will qualify for summary administration. Florida Statute 735.201 limits the types of estates that qualify for summary administration. If you want to know more about summary administration, and its benefits and limitations, then please contact Attorney Herbert Allen. I generally charge less in attorney's fees for estates that qualify for summary administration.   I recommend that we carefully review the probate matters and make a clear decision about what form of probate to follow. In some cases, the probate matter may qualify for summary administration, but other issues may call for a formal administration. Attorney Herbert Allen has experience with summary administration. I answer my own telephone and welcome your call at 321.237.2869. Free initial consultation.


Formal Administration

Formal Administration involves appointing a personal representative, admitting the will to probate (if the decedent left a valid will), notifying creditors and beneficiaries, collecting and managing assets, paying the valid and timely claims of creditors, dealing with exemptions, allowances and special claims, distributing assets, and closing the estate. Of course, I can only hit some of the highlights here, and I did not describe everything that takes place in a probate case. The personal representative has special duties and powers and I provide legal advice to personal representatives as they administer probate estates. If you need help with a probate matter, please call attorney Herbert Allen. Attorney Herbert Allen has experience with formal administration. I answer my own telephone at 321.237.2869 and welcome your call. Free initial consultation.


Disposition without Administration

Florida probate law allows for the special distribution of exempt personal property, if the estate qualifies under Florida Statute 735.301. In order to qualify, the estate of the decedent must: (1) leave property exempt from the claims of creditors; and (2) the value of the nonexempt property must not exceed the "sum of the amount of the preferred funeral expenses and the reasonable and necessary medical and hospital expenses of the last 60 days of of the last illness." As you can see, this form of probate has very tight restrictions. Attorney Herbert Allen has experience with Disposition without Administration. If you have questions, please call me. I answer my own telephone at 321.237.2869 and welcome your call. Free initial consultation.


How Long Does Probate Take?

As you can see from the discussion above, the length of the probate case depends in part upon the type of probate. The case may take from a few weeks to many months, and in some cases, a year or more. In some cases, the personal representative must be careful to notify heirs who may not be found easily. In other cases, it may take time to sell property and distribute assets. Sometimes, lawsuits arise because someone feels they are entitled to money or property from the probate estate, or someone wants to challenge the will or bring another matter before the court for a decision. Lawsuits may extend the length of the probate and may cost the estate more in attorney's fees. Other factors may also delay closure of the probate estate. Patience may be a strong virtue at times when probating estates. Even so, the personal representative must make a reasonable effort to close the estate as soon as possible.


Florida Probate Basics

If you have questions about serving as personal representative of a probate estate, and seek help with a Florida probate case, Attorney Herbert Allen can guide you through the probate process. I have been practicing in the the Melbourne area for many years and have experience in the Brevard County Probate Court. If you have a fairly small probate estate, we may be able to move through the probate process fairly quickly using Summary Administration. If your case will not qualify for Summary Administration, then Formal Administration provides another path for moving the estate through the court process. Formal probate administration involves filing an inventory, providing a notice to creditors, notifying interested parties, accounting for finances, distributing assets, and performing all the things required by probate law.   Probate involves conducting a diligent search for creditors, objecting to improper claims, searching for both assets and creditors, and filing different notices with different entities.  Probate takes time and effort. Depending upon several factors, Florida law provides for different types of probate proceedings.  The law seeks to protect the rights of everyone involved in the process without making the procedures too great a burden for everyone to endure.  I answer my own telephone at 321.237.2869 and welcome your call. The initial consultation is free. Florida Probate Personal Representative.

Probate Administration

While not every case will qualify for Summary Administration, this summary procedure will often be shorter than Formal Administration.  Summary Administration and Formal Administration depend in part upon the backlog of cases in the Probate Court. I know from personal experience that the local probate administration department makes serious efforts to move the cases quickly, but they have many cases to deal with. Timely submitting documents helps move the probate process along. I have experience with many issues that arise in probate cases, and my experience helps me guide my clients through the probate process. I welcome your call at 321.237.2869 and answer my own telephone. You may also be interested in my Simple Guide to Florida Probate.


Free Consultation

If you need help with probate matters, please give Herbert Allen a call at 321.237.2869. I answer my own telephone and look forward to hearing from you. I handle many probate cases without an office consultation. We can work together through email, fax, U.S. mail, texting, and many other means of communication and document exchange. If you need to visit my office, Herbert L. Allen, Jr., P.A., is  located at 1360 S. Patrick Dr., Satellite Beach, FL 32937. I provide attorney legal services for probate, living trusts, summary administration, formal administration, guardianship, in Satellite Beach, Melbourne BeachMerritt IslandIndialantic, Melbourne, Eau Gallie, Rockledge, Viera, Cocoa Beach, Cocoa, Palm Bay, Palm Shores, West Melbourne, Suntree Patrick Air Force Base, Cape Canaveral   and all of Florida.


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Herbert L. Allen, Jr., P.A. 28.177000, -80.606100