Summary Probate Administration and the Process for Determination of Homestead
Probate administration in Florida comes two forms: formal probate administration and summary probate administration. Formal probate administration is required when a person passes away with assets worth seventy-five thousand ($75,000.00) dollars or more in their individual name. Summary administration is a shorter, less complex process where a person has less than seventy-five thousand ($75,000.00) dollars of assets titled in their individual name or two (2) years has passed since the death. There are also two other probate administration processes that may be utilized: ancillary probate administration and determination of homestead exemption. Ancillary probate administration occurs where a person passes away with non-tangible assets, such as real property, in a state where they don’t reside.
Determination of homestead exemption is filed alongside the summary administration and allows an estate to distribution homestead property (without regard to its value) to heirs without the complexity of filing a formal probate administration. As an overview, all legal Florida residents are eligible for a homestead exemption on their primary homes, condominiums, co-op apartments, and certain mobile home lots. These laws are there to protect the homes of individuals and families from creditors attack.
In order to file a Petition to determine homestead exemption, which is a simplified probate process as oppose to formal administration, two elements must exist. First, the estate cannot exceed seventy-five thousand ($75,000.00) dollars (excluding the homestead property, which is considered an exempt asset). Second, the decedent must have passed away with a spouse and/or children who are the rightful heirs of the homestead property.
Each Florida county court has their own specific rules with regard to which supporting documents must be filed with the summary administration and the Petition to determine homestead, therefore, it is important to consult the expertise of a knowledgeable probate attorney to guide you with the process.
Contact Capital Planning Law, PLLC for your complimentary consultation to discuss your estate planning, business law, probate, guardianship and/or real estate needs.