Probate - Formal Administration

Formal probate administration may sound intimidating but this is a traditional type of probate in Florida. There are circumstances that require an estate to be opened for formal administration, but any are eligible for this form of probate. 

If you are unsure whether your, or your loved one’s, estate will require formal probate administration, you can speak with atCause Law Office about the specifics of your case. Our estate law experts will determine which type of administration is appropriate.

What will the probate administration process look like?

 

The first step is often to file a petition to open the estate for administration, along with a request to appoint a personal representative. If you have been named as the representative, or executor, of someone’s estate, you have likely realized that this task is extensive. Between notifying creditors, taking an inventory of assets, communicating with beneficiaries, and paying debts and taxes, we know the duties can pile up quickly.

 

Take a deep breath and remember that you were chosen because you are capable of successfully performing these duties. If you need help at any point, it’s okay to reach out and ask for assistance. Our team in Clearwater, Florida is prepared to tackle any obstacles right along with you, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. 

 

When is formal administration required?

 

If your or your late loved one’s estate has non-exempt assets valued at more than $75,000, you may be required to go through formal probate administration. So, what are non-exempt assets? Usually, things that are listed only in the decedent’s name will be non-exempt. Things like:

  • individual bank accounts

  • retirement accounts with no named beneficiaries

  • additional real estate other than the primary residence

 

Property owned exclusively by the decedent with a value in excess of $75,000 will usually fall into this category. Formal administration also has a requirement that includes a time frame of fewer than two years since the date of death.

If the Last Will and Testament includes a provision that the estate is formally administered, this also creates the requirement for this type of probate.

 

When might formal administration be beneficial?

 

Many estates may benefit from formal administration regardless of the legal requirement. Any time there are issues that need to be settled, the appointment of a personal representative or executor can see those issues resolved. In order to have a representative appointed, the estate must go through a formal probate process. 

Mortgage negotiations, creditor concerns, and business transactions can be handled by an executor. If you expect there will be a lot of assets to discover, quantify and distribute, this type of administration may make these efforts less challenging. The personal representative will have a much easier time completing estate closing activities than someone who has not been officially given the right to do so. 

Deciding the best course of action and figuring out what is required of an estate can be easier with our team of probate experts. Contact us today at 727-477-2255 to find out more about how we can help you through this process.