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Formal, Summary, and Ancillary Probate Administrations

When someone passes away, any assets that were titled in that person's name alone, with no beneficiary designations, are part of the probate estate of that individual.  Probate is a court process by which the assets of an individual are distributed after his/her death. There are typically three types of probate administration: ancillary, summary, and formal.


Ancillary administration occurs when a non-Florida resident dies owning real estate in Florida. Ancillary administrations can be conducted as either summary or formal probates.

Summary administration
is an abbreviated probate proceeding appropriate for estates in which there are no creditors and the value of all assets that are subject to probate are less than $75,000 or when two years have passed since an individual's death.

Formal administration
is the most common type of probate administration. In a formal administration, a personal representative (known in most states as an executor) is appointed to handle the business of the estate.  Formal probate proceedings normally take six months to a years to complete depending upon the unique circumstances of each case.

During administration of an estate, it is necessary that the flow of communication between an attorney and client remain constant. That is why we always strive to be readily available to clients via telephone, mail, or email. Legal fees for most probate administrations are based on a percentage of the assets being probated plus expenses.


When confronting the daunting task of handling the probate administration of a loved one's estate, it is important to choose an attorney who is experienced in handling the myriad of issues that can arise during the administration.


Please call us to schedule an appointment if you have any questions regarding the probate process or what assets are subject to probate.