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Probate faqs

Probate in Florida: FAQs

According to section 733.6171(3) of the Florida Statutes, attorney fees are structured according to the value of estate:

  1. $1,500 attorney’s fee for estates having a value of $40,000 or less.
  2. An additional $750 for estates having a value of more than $40,000 and not exceeding $70,000.
  3. An additional $750.00 for estates having a value of more than $70,000 and not exceeding $100,000.
  4. For estates having a value in excess of $100,000, at the rate of 3% on the next $900,000.
  5. At the rate of 2.5% for estates above $1 million and not exceeding $3 million.
  6. At the rate of 2% for estates above $3 million and not exceeding $5 million.
  7. At the rate of 1.5% for estates above $5 million and not exceeding $10 million.
  8. At the rate of 1% for estates above $10 million.

Some probate documents are public records while others are confidential. Inventory and accounting files in an estate are kept confidential and only available to the personal representative(PR) and the PR’s attorney. Furthermore,

  • Florida law forbids the Clerk from setting any part of a court file, record, or paper relating to cases administered by the Florida Probate Rules on a Website for general public display.

 

Other confidential documents are death records, marital status records, paternity records.

Yes, under this unique circumstance

  • If the estate is small, then it can be settled as a disposition without administration (DWA)

 

Otherwise, Florida law demands the assistance of an attorney.

Yes, it is possible to avoid probate under some conditions:

  1. If the decedent’s assets were held in a Living Trust.
  2. If the decedent’s accounts used beneficiary designations.
  3. If property owned by the decedent is co-owned under the rights of survivorship clause.

The cost implication of a potential probate proceeding is split in two ways

  • The processing fees like, filing fees, publications costs, or accounting fees.
  • The attorney’s fees set aside for the attorney of the personal representative

 

These costs are governed by the Florida Statutes and according to section 733.6171(3) of the Florida Statutes, attorney fees are structured according to the value of estate:

  1. $1,500 attorney’s fee for estates having a value of $40,000 or less.
  2. An additional $750 for estates having a value of more than $40,000 and not exceeding $70,000.
  3. An additional $750.00 for estates having a value of more than $70,000 and not exceeding $100,000.
  4. For estates having a value in excess of $100,000, at the rate of 3% on the next $900,000.
  5. At the rate of 2.5% for estates above $1 million and not exceeding $3 million.
  6. At the rate of 2% for estates above $3 million and not exceeding $5 million.
  7. At the rate of 1.5% for estates above $5 million and not exceeding $10 million.

 

At the rate of 1% for estates above $10 million.. The bulk of the expense in a probate settlement is the attorney’s fees. This fee would mostly depend on the complexity of the estate in question.

Probate deals with the transfer of ownership of a decedent’s assets and clearance of their debts If there’s a will, probate is required if the estate has probate assets, the decedent was under litigation or has unpaid debts and taxes. In the absence of a will, probate will be required because there has to be a clear way to transfer property owned by a decedent and clear debts if there are any.
 

Probate deals with the transfer of ownership of a decedent’s assets and clearance of their debts If there’s a will, the estate has to go through probate if there are probate assets, the decedent was under litigation or there are unpaid debts and taxes. In the absence of a will, the estate has to go through probate because there has to be a clear way to transfer property owned by a decedent and clear debts if there are any.

No, the presence of a will doesn’t remove the possibility of Probate. Assets in a will may still need to be probated. A will is only a set of instructions written by a decedent on how their assets will be inherited. Since probate deals with the transfer of ownership of assets and clearance of debt, avoiding probate will involve using a living trust, using beneficiary designations for financial accounts, and using rights of survivorship to co-own a property.

Probate deals with the transfer of ownership of a decedent’s assets and clearance of their debts If there’s a will, probate is required if the estate has probate assets, the decedent was under litigation or has unpaid debts and taxes. In the absence of a will, probate will be required because there has to be a clear way to transfer property owned by a decedent and clear debts if there are any.

No, the presence of a will doesn’t remove the possibility of Probate. Assets in a will may still need to be probated. A will is only a set of instructions written by a decedent on how their assets will be inherited. Since probate deals with the transfer of ownership of assets and clearance of debt, avoiding probate will involve using a living trust, using beneficiary designations for financial accounts, and using rights of survivorship to co-own a property.

It depends, a will goes to probate under some conditions namely:

  • If there are probate assets in the decedent’s estate.
  • If a wrongful death claim is filed.
  • If the decedent was involved in litigation.

There are six steps that probate in Florida follows, here’s a list from the location of the will to the end:

  1. Locate the Original Will
  2. Give Required Notices to Beneficiaries, Surviving Spouses, and Creditors.
  3. Marshall Assets, Preserve and Protect Assets…
  4. Creditors, Taxes, Disputes, and Other Messy Stuff. …
  5. Distribution to the Beneficiaries. …
  6. Discharge and Accounting.

In Florida, some probate records can be found here Wills & Probate Records. Please note that not all counties maintain digital records. However, you can obtain probate records at county courthouses at a minimal charge.

If you are searching for probate records such as wills, bonds, letters, petitions, order books, inventories, and settlements. Try using Online Resources. Note that not all counties maintain digital records. However, you can obtain probate records at county courthouses at a minimal charge.

Probate can be avoided under some conditions:

  1. If the decedent’s assets were held in a living trust.
  2. If the decedent’s accounts used beneficiary designations.
  3. If property owned by the decedent is co-owned under the rights of survivorship clause.

You file probate in Florida with the Clerk at the county’s circuit court where the decedent lived at the time of death. A filing fee is usually demanded and should be paid to the clerk.

The probate process kicks off when the executor (personal representative), beneficiary, or creditor of the estate files documents with the probate court. These documents may include a Petition for Administration, acceptance as personal representative, and an Order admitting the will to probate.

Probate isn’t required per se, but in some circumstances, probate will be required:

  • If there are probate assets in the decedent’s estate.
  • If the decedent was in debt.
  • If a wrongful death claim is filed.
  • If the decedent was involved in litigation.

Yes. Probate is a legal process that is started in order to finalize a deceased person’s affairs. It becomes necessary when assets in the decedent’s name do not have clear beneficiaries, if there are probate assets in the estate and if the decedent was in debt or under litigation. See chapter 731 to 735 of the Florida statutes

In almost all cases, you need the assistance of a probate attorney. Only under a unique circumstances can probate be done without an attorney:

  • If the estate is small then it can be settled as a disposition without administration (DWA)

Simply put, probate assets are those assets that do not have any provision for automatic succession of ownership at death. The assets could be solely owned by a decedent or owned by the decedent and some co-owners.

Whoever is in possession of a valid will must deposit the original copy to the clerk of the court in the county of the decedent’s estate. This deposit must be done within 10 days after it’s been known that the testator has passed away..

Probate is a legal process established to wrap up the affairs of a deceased person (often referred to as the decedent). A decedent’s affairs include assets, paying off debts, and sharing the decedent’s assets among beneficiaries.

In Florida, certain assets considered as probate assets must go through a probate proceeding. Any outstanding debts or taxes must be paid and then the assets will be transferred to beneficiaries.

Summary Administration in Florida is a simplified probate process used for smaller probate estates. It is also used when the person has been dead for over two years and all creditors of the deceased are barred.

Probate assets include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • A life insurance policy, annuity contract, or individual retirement account payable to the decedent’s estate.
  • Property in the sole name of the decedent, or in the name of the decedent and co-owner as tenants in common, is a probate asset (unless it is designated as Homestead property).
  • A bank account or investment account in the sole name of a decedent.

Probate becomes necessary:

  1. In the absence of a will.
  2. If the decedent was involved in any litigation.
  3. If the decedent owned probate assets.

Probate becomes unnecessary:

  1. If the decedent’s assets were held in a living trust.
  2. If the decedent’s accounts used beneficiary designations.
  3. If property owned by the decedent is co-owned under the rights of survivorship clause.
  4. If the decedent has no debts or taxes.

In Florida, probate processes are filed with the Clerk of the circuit court of the county where the decedent lived at the time of death. A filing fee is usually demanded and should be paid to the Clerk.

All estates do not go through probate in Florida. Probate is required if a person passes on without a clear succession plan for assets in their name. These kinds of assets include, but are not limited to the following:

  • A life insurance policy, annuity contract, or individual retirement account payable to the decedent’s estate.
  • Property in the sole name of the decedent, or in the name of the decedent and co-owner as tenants in common, is a probate asset (unless it is homestead property).
  • A bank account or investment account in the sole name of a decedent.

It can be very stressful for the parties involved in a probate process. If you wish to avoid probate, consider this option:

  1. Use Joint Ownership With Rights of Survivorship or Tenancy-by-the-Entirety
  2. Use Beneficiary Designations or Life Estate Deeds.
  3. Use a Revocable Living Trust.

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