Under Florida law, there are two types of administration for probate – formal administration and summary administration.
Formal administration is the most common type of probate. Such a process starts with the appointment of a personal representative. This individual is legally entitled to administer the decedent’s estate.
On the other hand, summary administration does not require the appointment of a personal representative and is cheaper than formal administration.
However, most cases do not qualify for summary administration, making formal administration a standard in Florida probate courts. As formal administration can be time-consuming, knowing all the key deadlines and timelines is crucial to avoid unnecessary stress.
Key Deadlines for Formal Administration Probate in Florida – An Overview
Filing with the Probate Court
In Florida probate, the initial deadlines are crucial, especially for surviving spouses. The decedent’s family has ten days from the knowledge of death to file a petition in court with the original will.
Then, the next step is determining the last will’s validity (20 days) and the qualifications of the personal representative (3 months).
The deadlines to object to the last will, personal representative, or jurisdiction in probate are either 20 days upon receiving a Formal Notice or three months upon receiving a Notice of Administration.
The deadline for filing an election for elective share is either earlier than six months upon receiving a Notice of Administration or two years from the date of death. The deadline for a Tenant in Common (TIC) election is six months from the date of death.
Organizing the Decedent’s Estate
Then, it is time to formally listing an inventory to identify all assets of the decedent’s estate in probate court. The deadline for filing inventory is 60 days upon the issuance of Letters of Administration.
Letters of Administration refers to the document that grants the personal representative the right to act on behalf of the decedent’s estate.
During this phase, it is possible to file a petition for exempt property, either four months upon receiving Notice of Administration or 40 days after completion proceedings for will contest or will construction.
Closing Creditor Period and Paying Debts
Creditors can start laying their claims to the decedent’s assets under probate. The deadline for filing creditor claims is either the later three months upon the first publication of Notice to Creditors or 30 days upon receiving Notice to Creditors.
For those unaware, Notice to Creditors refers to a public statement to alert the decedent’s creditors about the debtor’s passing and the probate process.
When a creditor files a claim, the personal representative must determine whether or not there is a reason to object to the claim. The deadline to object to a claim in Florida is 30 days from the appropriate filing of the claim.
Final Estate Accounting and Asset Distribution
Ultimately, it is time to proceed with the final estate accounting and distribution of the remaining assets to the rightful beneficiaries. The deadline for filing the Affidavit of No FL Estate Tax Due form is 12 months upon the issuance of Letters of Administration.
The final accounting and petition for discharge have the same deadline, which is also 12 months upon the issuance of Letters of Administration. The deadline for objecting to the final accounting and petition for discharge is 30 days upon service of final accounting and petition for discharge.
Work with Jurado and Farshchian, P.L. to Ensure a Smooth Probate Process in Florida
Dealing with probate is not an easy task, especially in formal administration proceedings. If you want to avoid unnecessary stress, make sure to work with an experienced probate attorney in Florida.