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    Probate Proceedings

    Probate is the court supervised process of transferring a deceased individual's property from the decedent's name to the name(s) of that person's heirs.

    When an individual passes away and they own property in their name only, probate is usually required. Examples of types of property that would not include:

    • A home owned by a married couple at the time of one of the spouses death;
    • Life insurance or bank accounts that list a beneficiary on the account; and
    • Property owned jointly, with rights of survivorship.

    What types of probate proceedings are there?

    For small estates (those valued at less than $75,000, not including homestead real property) or when the decedent has been dead for more than 2 years, an abbreviated proceeding called "summary administration" is available. For those estates valued above this amount, a "formal administration" probate proceeding would be required. The formal probate has additional requirements and is a longer process.

    Who receives the property once it is probated?

    When a Florida resident dies with a will, their will usually controls who receives the property. Some exceptions apply, such as when that person has a spouse that survives them. When someone dies without a valid will (called "intestate"), the Florida statutes determine who will receive the property.