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What are the 3 types of probate administration in Florida?

How long the probate process takes in Florida depends on several factors. One of the most important factors is the size of the estate. It may make sense to hear that the larger the estate, and the more beneficiaries named by the decedent, the more complex probate likely will be.

Formal administration is the type the largest estates are most likely to pass through. This typically takes at least six months to complete. The court appoints a personal representative to handle the estate, which usually involves a lot of paperwork, especially if there are multiple beneficiaries and creditors seeking compensation.

For Florida estates totaling less than $75,000, excluding the homestead, summary administration is the most common form used. This form of probate tends to be significantly more straightforward than formal administration, and take less time to complete. Still, there could be issues dealing with creditors and other parties.

Finally, there is a type of probate, usually for small estates, which has no administration at all. To qualify for this, the estate must consist solely of personal property that is exempt from probate and creditors’ claims under Florida law, plus nonexempt personal property that does not exceed funeral expenses and medical and hospital expenses from shortly before the decedent’s passing.

Which level of administration is appropriate can be difficult to determine, unless you are experienced in Florida probate law. A personal representative generally will find it a relief to have an attorney’s guidance and assistance, to avoid making mistakes and possibly triggering litigation from unhappy creditors or beneficiaries.

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