Domiciliary Probate Proceedings
Domiciliary Probate (formal administration) is applicable when the decedent was a Florida resident. These are the basic proceedings most commonly conducted. A decedent may be a resident of more than one state, but domiciled in only one state. The domiciliary state is the one where the decedent was primarily a resident. Domiciliary probate proceedings are typically commenced in the decedent’s state of primary residence. For example, if a decedent lived in Florida, voted in Florida, and had most of his or her assets in Florida but a summer home in New York, domiciliary probate proceedings would most likely be commenced in Florida, with Ancillary Probate Administrations conducted in New York.
Summary Probate Administrations
Summary Probate may be applicable for estates less than $75,000 or when the decedent has been dead more than two years. Summary Administration is a form of probate intended to deal with smaller estates and in which there are either no creditors or all creditors are known and there is a plan to pay the creditors through the Summary Administration. Unlike a Formal Administration, in a Summary Administration essentially all required documents are submitted to the court at one time and the court enters its Order of Summary Administration. This Order directs the distribution of Estate assets and the payment of creditors. No Personal Representative is appointed in a Summary Administration. This simple form of probate is desirable when appropriate because it can be accomplished at a lower cost and in a shorter period of time.
Intestate Estate Administrations: Ancillary Probate Administrations
When a decedent passes away without a will, the decedent is said to have died intestate. Intestate estate administrations can be formal or summary in nature depending upon the size of the estate, the nature of the assets and the date of the decedent’s death. The Florida law of intestate succession is applied, regardless of the domicile of the decedent and requires some special steps, especially if real estate is involved in the estate. The decedent’s heirs as established by Florida statutes applies; but since there is no will, a Florida court must make a determination of the heirs according to Florida law.