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Do I need to hire an attorney to administer a Florida probate

Probate Administration often involves complex considerations that need the guidance of an experienced estate planning and probate attorney. As a result, the Florida Statutes and Court rules require the assistance of a Florida attorney to administer a Florida probate estate.

There are different kinds of probate administration available in Florida. A Florida probate attorney can advise you as to what kind of estate needs to be opened in the Florida courts depending on the assets in the estate at the time of the decedent’s death.

Summary administration is permitted in Florida when the estate assets to be probated are less than $75,000.00. You should discuss administration of an estate as a summary administration and the pros and cons of doing so if the estate qualifies for summary administration with a Florida probate attorney before a summary administration is petitioned for before the Florida courts.

Formal administration is permitted for all estates and required for estates of Florida residents who pass away with more than $75,000.00 of probate assets. Formal administration requires more documents to be prepared and filed with the court however is necessary to have a Personal Representative formally appointed and is often desirable over a summary administration, even if you are dealing with a small estate. Consult with a Florida probate attorney to understand your best option before an estate is opened on behalf of a loved one or friend. Florida courts require a Personal Representative to hire a Florida licensed attorney to handle a Formal administration.

Ancillary administration in Florida is required when a non-Florida resident dies owning real estate in Florida that is titled in the decedent’s own name at the time of death. Often out of state attorneys and heirs are surprised to discover that Florida requires a separate ancillary probate administration for the heirs to take clear title to Florida real estate, or for heirs to take possession of an asset in a non-resident’s estate, or for heirs to have clear title to sell or convey the real property located in the State of Florida. Florida courts require a Personal Representative to hire a Florida licensed attorney to petition the Florida courts for Ancillary Estate Administration.

The Law Offices of Jennifer D. Peshke, P.A. has handled many Summary, Formal, and Ancillary Estate Administrations throughout the state of Florida, working with families and attorneys from over a dozen different states. The Law Offices of Jennifer D. Peshke, P.A. offers a free consultation either in person or over the telephone to discuss your Probate Administration Needs.

All Estate Administration is performed on a flat fee basis which will be quoted via a written engagement letter, following the initial consultation. Legal flat fees vary based on the complexity of the estate and the assets contained within the Estate however all Estates require a minimum $750.00 cost retainer to pay court filing fees, the cost of publication for the Notice to Creditors and other existing estate expenses. The balance of any existing cost retainer is returned to the client at the conclusion of the matter.

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