Your Attorneys for Formal Administration in Florida
Florida has an efficient probate process called “Summary Administration” that can be used by
(a) Estates that have assets valued less than $75,000, or
(b) Estates where the decedent has been dead for more than two years.
Estates that do not meet either of these criteria will be required to follow the more time-consuming and probate court-supervised process called “Formal Administration.”
In a formal administration there is close court supervision of the collection and distribution of the decedent’s assets. The process unfolds in three stages:
- Opening the estate
- Administering the estate, and
- Closing the estate.
In formal administration, a Personal Representative will be appointed to manage and distribute the deceased’s estate. The Personal Representative will receive Letters of Administration from the court. This document grants the Personal Representative the authority to work with the deceased’s bank and other financial institutions, to sell the deceased’s property for the benefit of the estate, and to file the deceased’s last tax return. It is the Personal Representative’s job to notify the deceased’s creditors and other interested persons of the probate proceeding. Then, the Personal Representative will distribute the deceased’s estate to those persons entitled to payment. The typical Formal Administration proceeding takes between 9 and 12 months. If the proceeding is contested or other unusual circumstances arise, then the proceeding can last longer.
Depending on the circumstances, Florida estate administration may involve the following steps:
- Notify Creditors.
- Collect assets.
- Determine whether to leave assets with beneficiaries.
- Inventory assets.
- Collect debts.
- Continue decedent’s business.
- Invest assets.
- Maintain assets.
- Identify rights of beneficiaries. .
- Prepare interim accounting.
- Process claims from creditors.
- Prepare objection to claim.
- Handle unmatured and contingent claims.
- Determine fees.
- Apportion estate tax.
The pros for a formal administration are:
- A personal representative is appointed: with authority to secure information about decedent’s assets or debts.
- Letters of administration are provided: banks and financial institutions are more comfortable with letters of administrations than with orders of summary administration.
- Best choice when there are many known creditors.
- Best choice when decedent’s estate will be subject to litigation.
The cons for a formal administration are:
- Longer proceeding than summary administration: four to twelve months compared to three to five months.
- More expensive than summary administration.
- More work required than in summary administration.
For more information, schedule a consultation with us today! Call 305-921-0440 or Romy@jflawfirm.com