Understanding Ancillary Administration and How Our Probate Attorneys Can Help
Given the widespread appeal of its dynamic real estate market, it is not uncommon for individuals who reside in a different state or country to own a seasonal or income property in Florida.
A Quick Primer on ProbateBefore delving into the specifics of Ancillary Administration, it helps to have a general understanding of what probate entails. Put simply, probate is a court-supervised process of administering and winding down an estate. A special probate court oversees the process of carrying out the deceased person*s Will, such as the appointment of the personal representative, the gathering and distribution of probate assets, and ultimately the closing of the estate. If an individual die without a Will, then the probate court will appoint a suitable personal representative (called an executor in some states) and distribute the probate estate according to default Florida probate rules.
Intro to Ancillary AdministrationThere are a few different types of probate in Florida depending on the nature and circumstances of the estate. As previously noted, if a non-Florida resident dies in a different state with property in Florida, the estate will undergo Ancillary Administration. In most respects this is no different from *regular* probate, properly called *Formal Administration:* a personal representative must still be named to represent your estate and distribute its assets.
If the estate is worth less than $50,000 and the decedent has a Will, the foreign personal representative must file the Will, a transcript of the probate proceedings, and a list of the beneficiaries. If the deceased passed away less than two years ago, he or she must also publish a notice to creditors and satisfy any open claims before the estate assets can be transferred. If a creditor claim is filed, then the short form must be converted to a formal ancillary administration and a Florida ancillary personal representative must be appointed.
If a foreign will has already been probated in another venue or the decedent has been dead for over two years, an ancillary petition must be filed with the court before title to decedent*s real Florida property can be transferred. The petition must include authenticated copies of the Will, the foreign petition for probate, and the foreign court order admitting the Will to probate.
If the estate has assets worth less than $75,000, or at least two years have passed since the death of the decedent, the ancillary proceeding can also be undertaken through *Summary Administration,* which typically takes approximately two to six months to complete.