Close Menu
Naples Estate Planning Lawyer

Types of Probate

There are two types of probate administration under Florida law: formal administration and summary administration.

In some cases, when the estate is very small, there is no administration and this is called Disposition without Administration.

woman signing probateFormal Administration

Formal administration is required when the decedent’s assets are worth more than $75,000 or the decedent has been dead for less than two years. This means the decedent died owning assets in their name only and without a beneficiary designation.

When these circumstances arise, the estate of a Florida resident who dies owning assets worth more than $75,000 will go through probate, considering there are no estate planning tools in place to avoid formal administration.

Items that may be titled in the departed’s name only could be:

• Real estate

• Bank accounts without a beneficiary

• Bank accounts are titled to a beneficiary that is also deceased.

• Business interests titled to the decedent’s name only.

Most estates are significantly larger than $75,000.

Summary Administration

Summary Administration is a shortened form of Florida probate that is available for estates that are considered small as in less than $75,000 in value or the decedent has been dead for two years or more.

If the decedent died having executed a valid last will and testament that specifically instructs for the estate to go through formal administration, summary administration will not be available.

Disposition without Administration

Very small estates do not need to go through probate in Naples. Instead, Florida has a special procedure called “disposition without administration” for estates with very little property.

An estate qualifies for “disposition without administration” if the decedent did not leave any real estate, and had very few assets, and very little personal property. Also If the deceased died without a will (intestate) and the deceased must be dead for more than one year and must not have any other probate proceedings pending in Florida.

When is Probate Required in Florida?

Probate is the court process of administering a deceased person’s estate. In Florida, probate is almost always required. However, there are a few exceptions. In some cases, the estate can avoid probate or qualify for simplified probate procedures. If you have questions about whether probate is required, you should reach out to an experienced Naples probate attorney, like James R Nici. Mr. Nici is very familiar with Florida probate law and can assist you.

What Assets Avoid Probate in Florida?

Certain assets avoid probate and pass directly to their new owner. There is no court involvement. Common examples of non-probate property in Naples, Florida include:

• Assets held in a trust, particularly a revocable trust

• Property held in joint tenancy with rights of survivorship

• Assets with designated beneficiaries such as retirement accounts, life insurance proceeds, pensions, and transfer on death (TOD), generally used for investment accounts, or payable on death (POD) designation, used for bank account

The Benefits of Avoiding Probate in Florida

Four of the most common benefits of avoiding probate in Florida are:

• Private. Probate is a public record. Anyone can access probate documents and learn intimate details about your estate assets and their distribution.

• Quicker. Probate takes months, if not years, to complete in Naples depending on the size and complexity of the estate. Non-probate assets pass immediately after death without court oversight.

• Less Expensive. Probate requires court filing fees, attorneys’ fees, and administration fees (appraiser’s fees, accounting fees, etc.). The entire probate process can end up costing thousands of dollars.

• Fewer Challenges. As a part of the probate process, interested parties can contest the validity of the will and bring other challenges. Legal battles are expensive and can take years to resolve.

Proper estate planning including using a trust is the best way to avoid or minimize the hassle of probate in Florida.

Call James R. Nici – a Top Naples Probate Lawyer

If you have questions about probate or finding ways to avoid probate, you should contact experienced Naples probate attorney, James R. Nici. He is a highly qualified Naples attorney with over 25 years of experience, Board-Certified by the Florida Bar as a Specialist in Wills, Trusts, and Estates, and familiar with Florida probate laws.

For knowledgeable, professional assistance in all aspects of Estate Planning and Probate in Florida, contact Nici Law Firm, P.L., at 239-449-6150 or contact us online for a complimentary consultation.

Share This Page:
Facebook Twitter LinkedIn