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Florida Ancillary Probate Administration

Florida Ancillary Probate Administration

florida ancillary probate administrationFlorida Ancillary Probate Administration –
Who can act as the Personal Representative in Ancillary Probate Proceedings

There must be a personal representative named to represent the ancillary estate under Florida law. In fact, Florida law is very specific regarding who acts as the personal representative of the non-resident’s estate lying within Florida’s borders.

Pursuant to Florida Statute 734.102, if a personal representative has been specifically designated in the decedent’s will to administer the Florida property, then the decedent’s wishes shall be respected if the designee is qualified to act in Florida. Otherwise, the foreign personal representative of the decedent’s estate will have letters issued, if he is qualified to act in Florida.

If the foreign personal representative is not qualified, then any alternate or successor representative named in the will who is qualified to act in Florida can act as the personal representative in the ancillary probate matter. If the decedent’s will does not leave anyone qualified and able to act under Florida law as the personal representative, then those entitled to a majority interest of the Florida property may have letters issued to a qualified personal representative they have selected.

Requirement for Legal Representation to Administer a Florida Ancillary Probate Administration and Cost

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 court’s require a Personal Representative to hire a Florida licensed attorney to handle Ancillary Estate Administration. The Law Offices of Jennifer D. Peshke, P.A. has handled many 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 to discuss your Ancillary Estate Probate Administration Needs. All Ancillary 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 Ancillary Estate however all Ancillary Estates require a $750.00 cost retainer to pay court filing fees, the cost of publication of 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.

If the asset requiring a Florida Ancillary Administration is Real Property and the Estate intends to sell the Florida Real Property, the Law Offices of Jennifer D. Peshke, P.A. can also handle the closing of the Florida Real Property including full issuance of Title Insurance

The Law Offices of Jennifer D. Peshke, P.A. has a significant real estate practice including full closing services and issuance of title insurance underwritten by the Old Republic. Jennifer D. Peshke, P.A. is a licensed member of the Attorney’s Title Insurance Fund authorized to write title insurance for real property sold within the state of Florida. Often we handle closings for our estate clients, including our Ancillary Estate clients. Estate closings can be complicated as it pertains to permissible timing to release funds from the sale of the real property titled in the estate as well as proper issuance of a personal representative’s deed if the property is still titled in the estate when it is sold, and any and all necessary orders from the court authorizing the sale of the property and timing of the same. If you wish for the Law Offices of Jennifer D. Peshke, P.A. to handle the closing of real property titled in an Ancillary Estate, please discuss this with Attorney Peshke during your initial consultation. A closing is a separate transaction from that of the estate administration and a separate flat fee will be quoted to handle the real estate closing.

The allure of the state of Florida draw thousands of tourists each year, and many including U.S citizens and foreign nationals alike find that they enjoy Florida so much as a home away from home, that they purchase real estate here. When these land owners, whether they are “snowbirds” or investors or newcomers to Florida, die and legally are not a resident of the State of Florida, an “ancillary probate” or “ancillary administration” is required.

Florida Statute 734.102 governs ancillary probate administration in Florida and states that an ancillary probate will be mandatory if a non-resident dies: (1) leaving assets in this state, (2) leaving credits due from residents in this state, or (3) leaving liens on property in this state.

Ancillary Probate Administration Basics

Depending upon the individual circumstances, a Florida Ancillary Probate matter can be handled rather easily and without undue expense, or the matter can be quite complicated and costly. In uncontested ancillary probate matters, the probate usually can be begun and settled quickly and cost-efficiently. Often, the out-of-state client and/or personal representative does not need to travel to Florida because uncontested ancillary probates can be resolved through summary proceedings where there is no formal hearing before the judge and, therefore, no need for their in-court appearance. In fact, The Law Offices of Jennifer D. Peshke, P.A. is capable of handling Ancillary Probate administrations throughout the State of Florida without court appearances, in large part via mail to the appropriate Florida probate court in the county where the decedent’s property is located.

It is only when controversies arise regarding the property at issue that ancillary probate matters can become more time and cost intensive. Contested proceedings will necessitate evidentiary hearings, where documentary evidence as well as testimony will need to be provided to the court to support the disposition of the Florida claims.

Documents Required to Begin a Florida Ancillary Probate Administration

In order to get started with a Florida Ancillary Administration with the Law Offices of Jennifer D. Peshke, P.A., following your initial consultation, you or your attorney will need to send the firm the following documents:

-original certified copy of the decedent’s death certificate
-authenticated copy (a copy certified by the court where the decedent was a resident) of all domiciliary probate proceedings which shall include:

1. the will
2. petition for probate
3. order admitting will to probate
4. letters of administration
5. that part of the record showing the names of the beneficiaries of the estate

Initial questions to discuss regarding Florida Ancillary Probate Administration:

1. Did the decedent die owning an asset, or real property in the state of Florida and die as a NON-resident of the state of Florida?

2. Did the decedent die more than 2 years ago?

3. Is the property that is to be the subject of the ancillary administration currently listed for sale? If so, please advise Attorney Peshke of this and any pertinent time periods regarding a pending closing. Attorney Peshke will also need to be given realtor contact information and the name of a title company if one has already been selected to perform the closing so she can advise them of applicable time periods for the ancillary administration as it pertains to the closing.