What is Probate?
Probate is the court supervised process of transferring a deceased individual’s property from the decedent’s name to the name(s) of that person’s heirs.
Heider Law provides Probate and Estate Planning, Summary and Formal Administration, throughout Florida.
When an individual passes away and they own property in their name only, probate is usually required. Hiring an experienced lawyer to handle your probate proceedings in Florida is a good idea. To find out if you need to hire a probate lawyer, Consult our probate lawyer Clearwater office to get a free initial consultation on your probate case in Clearwater, FL.
Examples of types of property that would not require probate would include:
- A home owned by a married couple at the time of one of the spouses death;
- Life insurance or bank accounts that list a beneficiary on the account; and
- Property owned jointly, with rights of survivorship
Popular Florida Probate FAQs:
What types of probate proceedings are there?
For small estates (those valued at less than $75,000, not including homestead real property) or when the decedent has been dead for more than 2 years, an abbreviated proceeding called “summary administration” is available. For those estates valued above this amount, a “formal administration” probate proceeding would be required. The formal probate has additional requirements and is a longer process.
Who receives the property once it is probated?
When a Florida resident dies with a will, their will usually controls who receives the property. Some exceptions apply, such as when that person has a spouse that survives them. When someone dies without a valid will (called “intestate”), the Florida statutes determine who will receive the property.
How does Probate apply to Non-Florida residents who own property in Florida?
The location of probate proceedings are determined by the residence of the decedent. When a non-resident passes away and they own property in Florida, a special process called “ancillary administration” is available to allow for the transfer of the property according to that person’s will as administered by the court located in the jurisdiction where they resided. For example, John owned a winter condo in Ft. Meyers, but lived 7 months a year in Toledo, Ohio. His estate will be probated in Ohio, but an ancillary proceeding will be needed in Lee County, Florida to handle the Florida condo.
How much does it cost to hire a Florida Probate Attorney ?
While many attorneys charge a percentage of the assets of the estate, our probate attorney Clearwater firm does not feel that is fair. An estate with $100,000 in assets does not take more work than a $400,000 estate. As such, in most circumstances we charge a flat fee based on the type of probate proceeding needed.
In certain estates, probate fees may be higher based on factors such as:
- Property located outside of Florida;
- Uncooperative heirs;
- Particularly unique property (artwork, antiques, business entities that require appraisals, etc.)
- Litigation with a surviving spouse.
Visit our probate fees page to know more about our fees.
Get a Free consultation. Call us at 888-483-5040 to talk to Michael Heider, a qualified & experienced Florida probate Attorney.