Probating an estate can be a complex process that may years to complete. Probate procedural rules vary depending on the location of the court involved, so a good starting point for getting information is to go to the court’s website to see if checklists for what is needed to file for probate are available. Depending on the jurisdiction, courts may make probate forms available on their websites or at their respective courthouses. A map of the Florida circuit courts and links to their websites can be found at this link.
Probate proceedings may be needed regardless of whether the individual had a will or not. If an individual dies without a will, the estate’s property will be divided according to Florida’s intestate probate statutes, which can be found at this link.
There are three kinds of probate administration proceedings available in Florida:
Formal Administration – Formal administration is used when an estate has a net worth of over $75,000 or has real property involved. Formal administration is the most complex form of probate and may be required depending on what kinds of assets are included in the estate.
Small Estate Summary Administration – Summary administration is a simplified probate proceeding process for estates with a net value that is less than $75,000 or individual died two years prior to the filing of the petition for summary administration.
Distribution Without Administration - If there is only a small amount of person property or a tax refund less than $2,500, then the estate can be distributed without probate administration.