How to know if you need probate in Florida:
1. Determine whether you need probate – In Florida, you’re supposed to probate all assets. If title of any assets are held by someone else (like the government, a bank, or a corporate office) there’s no getting around probate. The most common examples are a house or other real property, bank accounts, car, or other titled property at the time of death.
2. Some estates may qualify for summary administration. In most cases, this is how to tell which process you need:
a. If the assets required to go through probate are more than $75,000 or your loved one passed away more than 2 years ago, summary probate may be the best option. As the name indicates, this process can be shorter, and less costly.
b. If your loved one’s estate is valued over $75,000 and they passed away less than 2 years ago, you likely will need to use a formal probate administration. Unless the personal representative is the sole interested person, formal probate administration requires an attorney to represent the personal representative.
3. Gather required documents – Several documents are required for every Florida probate case. Receive a convenient checklist of the documents that you need to open probate by completing the form to the right.
4. Find a Florida probate attorney to determine whether summary or formal administration is appropriate. They will be able to prepare the various petitions, notices, inventories, waivers, accountings, proposed orders, waivers, consents, schedules, publication affidavits, statements regarding creditors, and all the other probate documents. If the value of the estate is greater than $75,000.00 an attorney is required under Florida law to represent the personal representative in the probate administration. If the value of the estate is less than $75,000.00, the person named personal representative is allowed under Florida law to conduct a summary administration. However, as you can tell from the partial list of documents above, an attorney will always be able to conduct the administration more efficiently than by yourself.