There's a process called "probate" that does just that. You've got two primary options in Florida: formal administration and summary administration. Summary administration is less expensive, but is only available if the deceased person's estate is worth less than $75,000.00 or if the deceased person has been dead for more than 2 years.
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First, I am sorry for your loss. If the property was in your parents' name, you will need to probate the estate. This can be done through a formal administration, or possibly a summary administration. If, it was their primary residence, they passed away recently, the estate is otherwise minimal in value, with no or minor debt, then a summary administration may be possible. Check with a probate attorney. If that is the only asset, the costs may be relatively reasonable. Either way, you should obtain professional assistance.
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I agree with Mr. Fortenberry, with the caveat that that, if the condo was your parent's primary residence, it's value will likely not be calculated in the $75,000 cap for summary administration.
You should speak with an attorney to discuss your options.
Sorry for your loss.
As the other attorneys have stated, you need to go through probate to transfer title. If the estate qualifies for summary administration, you may have title in a matter of a month or two. Contact a probate attorney to discuss the estate specifics. Most attorney's fees should be about the same, so choose someone you are comfortable with.
Answer does not constitute legal advice. (727) 471-0039 or firstname.lastname@example.org, This answer is provided for informational and/or educational purposes only, does not constitute legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Adam is a Florida Attorney practicing in areas of Estate Planning, Elder Law, Trusts, Probate, Guardianship, and Business Law. Actual legal advice can only be provided after completing a comprehensive consultation in which all of the relevant facts are discussed and reviewed.
I'm sorry for your loss. The will of the last parent to pass away most likely needs to be probated. We have great land records in Manatee County so we could quickly check the last deed to make sure that probate is required. As discussed by the other attorneys, probate is a process that involves many steps to insure that all of your parents' creditors are paid and that the beneficairies of the estate receive information throughout the process. If the home was your parents' primary residence, probate also provides proof that the home is exempt from creditor claims. It also allows you to handle any other assets that might be in the name of the surviving parent.
It might be more involved than you had expected, but it is better to get things in order now, rather than being surprised later when you and your brother decide to sell. I hope that helps.
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I'm sorry to hear about your parents passing away. I recently lost my father; and I wouldn't wish this kind of pain on anyone.
Your fact pattern doesn't state how the property was titled when your parents were alive. If you and/or your brother were listed as a joint tenant with right of survivorship or as a remainderman of either a regular or enhanced life estate, then title to the property will pass by operation of law outside of the probate process. Same goes, if the property were held in trust with either or both of you listed as a trust beneficiary.
This is a key issue in my Probate Avoidance planning practice. The hassle and expense of probate can be reduced or eliminated by a little bit of planning ahead of time. For example, I often use what I call a Probate Avoidance Deed to list beneficiaries right on the deed. I do this for no charge for my financial & estate planning clients. I find that smart use of beneficiary designations and deeds like this can keep most Florida families out of the probate courts.
Dennis Phillips is an attorney and financial planner based in South Florida. He is a member of the Florida bar, he holds the nation-wide Series 65 Investment Advisor license, and holds an insurance license in Florida and Virginia. Disclaimer: The response above is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, would significantly alter the above response.
You cannot just transfer the deed. The deceased assets must go through the courts process known as Probate. You could have avoided this process if and only if you had added names to the Title prior to them passing away. The probate process costs are usually somewhere around 3% of the estates value. Filing fees alone are several hundred dollars. It needs to be handled through an attorney that practices in Estate Planning and Probate. Do you research on Estate Planning firms and make sure to interview attorneys before hiring one.