How Does Out of State Probate Work in Florida?
Probate can be a complicated process, especially if you are trying to handle it from another state. It’s not uncommon that people have assets located in different states, or that the executor (personal representative) lives elsewhere. The last thing you need on top of your loved one passing away is the pressure of trying to deal with a probate from across the country. This is where a West Palm Beach probate administration attorney can help.
At the Law Offices of Larry E. Bray, P.A., we routinely help out-of-state clients with the process of handling a Florida probate. If you don’t live in Florida but need assistance with a probate administration in the state, we are here and ready to help.
Out of State Probate Proceedings
There are some situations where the main probate will take place in another state, but there is Florida property that needs to be included in the probate. In these situations, it’s usually an ancillary proceeding that will take place. An ancillary administration works much like a standard probate administration except that a certified copy of the transcript of the foreign state proceedings will have to be provided to the Florida Court. The executor, or personal representative, may need to give bond, will need to give notice to the decedent’s creditors, etc.,just as you would with a full probate administration.
Once the ancillary administration is completed, the remaining assets will be transferred to the executor (personal representative) handling the main probate administration. He or she will subsequently distribute them to the heirs per the decedent’s will, or the intestate laws of the applicable state if there was no will.
To determine where the ancillary administration should take place—it’s the county where the property is located. The law doesn’t specify real property versus personal property either.
Non-Florida Executors (Personal Representatives)
Florida law allows for someone who is the decedent’s spouse, or someone who is related by blood or adoption, to be the personal representative in a Florida probate estate. There is not a requirement that the personal representative reside in the state. Florida law covers both the powers and requirements for someone to be a foreign personal representative as well.
Admitting a Foreign Will
This is a fairly simple process and not necessarily expensive. An authenticated will belonging to a non-Florida resident that includes any real property in the state can be submitted to the appropriate Florida county within two years from the date of the decedent’s death. This is available only to estates with a will that has undergone full probate in another state and then needs only the formalities required by the Florida statutes.
Having a foreign will admitted is sometimes a necessity when Florida property was not probated in the state. For example, a decedent owns property in Florida and there is a personal representative in the main state where probate is taking place, but neither the personal representative nor the home court has jurisdiction over the Florida property. This means the personal representative can’t execute a deed transfer. Don’t make the mistake to wait until you are trying to transfer or sell the property to handle out-of-state assets. Let a Florida probate attorney help.
Contact a Florida Probate Administration Attorney
If you need assistance with handling an out-of-state probate, contact the Law Offices of Larry E. Bray, P.A. today to schedule an initial consultation. Let us help with all your Florida and out-of-state probate needs.