What is a Formal Administration of Probate?
In Florida, a formal administration of probate is a legal process that is used to administer the estate of a decedent (the person who has died). The purpose of a formal administration of probate is to:
- Determine the validity of the will or trust (if applicable): The court will review the will to make sure it is valid and meets all legal requirements.
- Appoint a personal representative: The court will appoint a personal representative to manage the administration of the estate. A personal representative is responsible for gathering the decedent's assets, paying any outstanding debts and taxes, and distributing the remaining assets to the beneficiaries according to the terms of the will, trust, or applicable statute of intestacy.
- Notify interested parties: The personal representative must notify all interested parties, including the decedent's creditors, beneficiaries, federal agencies, and any heirs at law, about the probate proceeding.
- Administer the estate: The personal representative is responsible for managing the estate, including collecting the decedent's assets, paying outstanding debts and taxes, and distributing the remaining assets to the beneficiaries according to the terms of the will, trust, or statute of intestacy. A personal representative may also bring or defend a lawsuit on behalf of a decedent and estate.
A formal administration of probate is typically required when the value of a decedent's estate exceeds a certain threshold. The exact threshold may vary depending on the circumstances, but in Florida it is generally $75,000. If the value of the decedent's estate is below this threshold, it may be possible to use a simplified probate process, known as summary administration.
Formal administration if required if the decedent's assets are more than $75,000.00.
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