Clearing Title to Homestead Property with Summary Administration
In Florida, the two primary types of probate are formal administration and summary administration. Formal administration is “standard” probate where title to a decedent’s assets is cleared after the appointment of a personal representative and a full probate proceeding. It is the most common form of probate. Summary administration is a shorter form of probate, and does not require the appointment of a personal representative.
Qualifications for Summary Administration
There are two ways that an estate can qualify for summary administration:
- If the value of the entire estate — minus the value of any homestead property — is less than $75,000; or
- If the decedent has been dead for more than two years.
Clearing Title through Summary Administration
If the Florida homestead is the only asset in a decedent’s estate, it will qualify for summary administration no matter the value of the homestead property. This is because Florida homestead property is not included for purposes of determining the value of an estate.
Florida law mandates that homestead property pass directly to a decedent’s heirs, but that doesn’t mean that the heirs will have clear title to that property. Before issuing a clear title, many title insurance underwriters require an Order Determining Homestead, which is obtained through the summary administration process.
To obtain this order, a petition for homestead determination should be filed with the probate court in conjunction with the petition for summary administration. Many Florida probate judges will enter an Order Determining Homestead and an Order of Summary Administration at the same time, which will allow the process to be completed within a month or two. However, if formal administration is required because the estate does not qualify for summary administration, the process may take longer.
The attorneys at Jurado & Farshchian, P.L. can assist you with clearing any title issues through probate and ensuring that estate assets are properly passed on to heirs. Contact our experienced Florida probate attorneys at (305) 921-0440, or email us at email@example.com.