When someone passes away and they have left assets in their name alone (for more details on what needs to be probated, see our next blog post: The Non-Probate Pail) you will likely need to open up a probate case in order to transfer the assets from the decedent’s name into those of his or her beneficiaries.
So what kind of case needs to be opened? There are three basic types of proceedings for administering a decedent’s estate:
Formal Administration: This type of proceeding is used when there are considerable assets and it is necessary to appoint a personal representative to act on behalf of the estate. Letters of administration will be issued to the personal representative so that he or she will be able to administer the estate, including marshaling all assets into the estate, dealing with real property, handling all taxable issues and other items which require the estate to be represented. In most cases, a formal administration must be filed by an attorney licensed to practice law in Florida.
Summary Administration: Summary administration may be filed when the value of the entire estate does not exceed $75,000 or when the decedent has been deceased for more than two years. If the decedent has been deceased for less than two years, a copy of the paid funeral bill is also required.
Disposition of Personal Property without Administration: This type of proceeding is filed to request release of the decedent’s assets to the person who paid for final expenses such as funeral costs or medical bills that accrued in the last 60 days. Disposition of personal property without administration cannot:
- Exceed $6,000
- Exceed the amount of funeral bill
- Include real estate
- Transfer loans
- Release assets from a safe deposit box
An attorney is not required for a disposition of personal property without administration.
It is always best to sit with an attorney to review the facts in order to effectively and efficiently administer an estate.
For a free initial probate consultation, just send us an email and we’ll reach out to you!