PROBATE ADMINISTRATION EXPLAINED

The probate and trust administration attorneys of Yelen & Yelen, P.A. have handled hundreds of estates throughout the State of Florida for over 50 years. We understand the various difficulties and components associated with the estate of a deceased family member or loved one. If an individual passes away, with or without a Will and/or Trust, our attorneys will assist you in navigating the Florida probate practices and procedures necessary throughout the administration process as quickly and efficiently as possible. Our trust and estate attorneys are experienced in assisting Personal Representatives and Trustees in properly handling their fiduciary responsibilities.

Probate administration is a court process which involves the distribution of a decedent’s assets following his or her death.  A decedent’s assets are distributed according to their Last Will and Testament (“testate” estate) or via Florida Statutes (“intestate” estate). A decedent’s estate may need to be opened in order to properly distribute the estate assets to the designated beneficiaries. The existence of a Will does not avoid the need for a probate estate; however, there are alternatives to the probate proceeding depending on how the decedent’s assets were held and titled prior to death.

Every estate must be handled correctly from its initiation in order to avoid complications and delay.  The two most common forms of estates in Florida are “summary administration” and “formal administration.” 

Summary Administration, another form of Florida probate administration, is a simplified and quicker estate process in which there is no appointment of a Personal Representative. An estate may only qualify for Summary Administration if the gross assets are valued for $75,000.00 or less, or if a decedent has been dead for more than 2 years and no probate proceeding has been filed. If applicable, Summary Administration can be filed with or without a Will.

Formal Administration this is the most common form of a probate Estate in Florida.  Formal Administration is required when an individual dies with a Will (“testate” estate) or without a Will (“intestate” estate”). In Florida Formal Administration estates, Florida probate courts appoint a Personal Representative (also known as the “Executor”/”Executrix”) – this individual oversees the administration of the estate from the decedent’s death until all of the assets are fully distributed to the estate beneficiaries and all claims against the estate are settled. A Personal Representative is nominated in the decedent’s Will.  If an individual dies without a Will, the Court will appoint a qualified Personal Representative by statute, which often is a family member of the decedent. 

In estates subject to Formal Administration, the Personal Representative must almost always be represented by a probate attorney and must be appointed by Court Order before any authority is granted to act on behalf of the estate.  It is important to retain an experienced and knowledgeable trust and estates attorney because the Florida probate process can include legal complexities, creditor claims, communications with beneficiaries and financial intuitions, and unanticipated stress and costs to the family of decedent without proper guidance. 

With over 50 years of experience, the attorneys of Yelen & Yelen, P.A. can assist you and your family navigates the probate process to ensure that your loved one’s estate is handled with the utmost attention and care. Our attorneys represent Personal Representatives and beneficiaries of estates throughout the state of Florida.

Yelen & Yelen, P.A. offers the following services within the realm of probate and trust administration:

  • Formal Probate Administration
  • Testate Formal Administration (Probate of Wills)
  • Summary Administration
  • Ancillary Administration
  • Disposition of Personal Property without Administration
  • Appointment of the Personal Representative and/or Trustee
  • Representation of Personal Representative and/or
  • Representation of Estate and Trust beneficiaries

The attorneys of Yelen & Yelen, P.A. can guide you through the estate administration process. Please contact our office at 305-445-3721 for more information.