In Florida, probate begins once the court approves a petition for probate and issues Letters of Administration to designate a personal representative.

However, depending on who the decedent was, where his/her primary residence was located, and where the property subject to probate is located, the court will determine whether the estate must go either through domiciliary or ancillary probate.

In this article, you find out the differences between ancillary and domiciliary probate in Florida.

Ancillary vs Domiciliary Probate in Florida – Understanding the Concept

The term “domiciliary” refers to an event or subject concerning someone’s home. Therefore, if a person is said to have a domicile in Florida, that individual is considered to have his/her permanent home within state jurisdiction.

If a Florida resident dies owning assets solely in his/her name, the decedent’s estate will likely go through domiciliary administration, which is a probate process applied for cases involving people who resided within state jurisdiction.

On the other hand, ancillary probate is the type of administration required when:

  • If a non-resident dies and leaves real property located in Florida
  • If a non-resident dies and leaves liens on property located in Florida
  • If a non-resident dies and leaves credits due from residents in Florida
  • If a non-resident dies and leaves any interest share(s) in a Florida business
  • If a non-resident dies and leaves a vehicle (i.e., car, boat, mobile home, etc.) titled by the state of Florida

Essentially, the difference between domiciliary and ancillary is that the latter takes place in the state where the decedent owned certain assets, whereas the first occurs in the state where the decedent had his/her primary residence.

In both cases, a court will designate a personal representative to execute the decedent’s estate and oversee the distribution of the remaining assets to their rightful beneficiaries. In any case, the assistance of a well-versed probate attorney is vital.

Ancillary vs. Domiciliary Probate in Florida – Taking a Closer Look

Despite the specific statutory rules governing each type of probate, both ancillary and domiciliary proceedings share several similarities.

If his/her estate is subject to probate in Florida, it will go through summary or formal administration – regardless of whether the person was a resident or non-resident in the state.

Summary administration is an expedited form of probate in Florida, usually concluded within a few weeks in simpler cases. To qualify for summary administration, the total value of the decedent assets must be worth less than $75,000 or the decedent has been dead for longer than two years.

However, if the total value of the decedent’s assets exceeds $75,000 or the decedent died less than two years ago, his/her estate will be subject to formal administration. Considered the traditional form of probate in Florida, formal administration is usually a longer proceeding.

Plus, depending on the size and complexity of the decedent’s estate, as well as the existence of family disputes or difficult to locate documents or beneficiaries, formal administration might result in a costly and stressful process.

In any case, the best approach would be to work with an expert Florida attorney to avoid probate altogether.

Nevertheless, If there is no time available and you are already involved in a probate case, legal guidance is even more crucial to mitigate the effect(s) of probate and guarantee a stress-free experience.  

Probate Does Not Need to be Overwhelming – Immediately Contact an Expert Probate Attorney

Whether you need to avoid probate or smoothly work your way through the process, waste no time – call Attorney Romy B. Jurado today at (305) 921-0976 or email [email protected] to schedule a consultation.