Miami probate attorney Randy A. Bryant is skilled at handling probate matters for Florida residents at all steps in the probate process. With over a decade of experience, the Bryant Law Firm can help you navigate the complexities of probate court. We understand that probate issues often arise during difficult emotional times and are dedicated to helping you through the probate process with sensitivity and efficiency.Florida Probate Administration
When a Florida resident passes away, their estate typically must be reviewed and administered through the Florida probate process. This administration process can be either formal or summary depending on the nature of the estate. A formal probate administration process is much more lengthy and involved than a summary process, so it is important to understand the requirements for each.Summary Probate Administration
Summary administration is considered a "shortcut" for certain Florida estates that can be used to avoid the more lengthy formal process. Under the Florida Probate Code, the summary process is only available if (1) the deceased's death occurred more than two years ago or (2) the value of the probate estate, excluding nonprobate assets is not more than $75,000.
The summary process can be started by the executor of the estate or by anyone who is to inherit property from the estate. The first step is to file a Petition for Summary Administration, which states that the estate qualifies for summary administration and lists all assets of the estate and all beneficiaries of such assets. In order to ensure against any outstanding conflicts or concerns, all named beneficiaries to the estate must either sign the petition or be given notice of it. Assuming no issues are raised, the Petition for Summary Administration allows the court to issue an order releasing all listed property to its proper beneficiaries, thereby avoiding a more lengthy administration process.Formal Probate Administration
For those estates that do not meet the qualifications for summary administration, a more formal probate process is required. Formal administration begins when the court appoints a personal representative of the estate. The duties of the personal representative are set forth in great detail in the Florida Probate Code and include taking inventory of all assets of the estate, paying off all debits, and then distributing the remaining assets. During the formal process, anyone who believes they are owed money by the deceased individual or his/her estate must be given time to come forward and make a claim. The personal representative must address such claims and provide a final report to the court showing how the assets of the estate are to be distributed. Depending on the nature and size of the state, and the various claims that might arise, the formal administration process can take anywhere from four months to several years.Disposition Without Administration
In rare circumstances, an estate may avoid probate administration altogether. Disposition without administration can happen when the deceased individual left behind very little assets, and it allows what remains of the estate to be used to reimburse final expenses such as a funeral. However, this process is not allowed when the estate includes any real property to be distributed, such as a farm or home. If you have paid for the final expenses of a family member or loved one and believe that you may qualify for disposition without administration, you may wish to contact a qualified Florida probate attorney to assist you with filing the required paperwork.Successful Probate Administration
Miami probate lawyer Randy A. Bryant and the Bryant Law Firm have successfully guided many Florida residents through summary and formal probate administration. We can help you decide which process is best suited to your needs and provide you with the legal acumen and advocacy necessary to move through probate administration as quickly as possible. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your probate issues, call our Coconut Grove office at (305) 456-2777. You can also contact us online.