Depending on the circumstances, Florida law may permit one to reopen a probate estate. For instance, common examples may include additional assets found or even a new will. In this article, you will find out the statutory rules to reopen probate in Florida.
How to Reopen Probate in Florida – Understanding the Basics
Formal administration is the traditional form of probate in Florida. The process is completed once the personal representative files a Petition for Discharge, Plan of Distribution, and Final Accounting.
Upon receipt of the petition, the court may enter an Order of Discharge. An essential probate document, the Order of Discharge is an official statement that:
- The personal representative has administered the decedent’s estate
- Any creditors’ claims have been paid, settled or objected to
- The personal representative has fulfilled all tax obligations involved in the estate’s administration
Depending on the case’s circumstances, an interested person may object to the Petition for Charge. If that person’s argumentation is based on solid legal grounds, the court might determine the modification or amendment of the Petition for Discharge or the Plan of Distribution.
How to Reopen Probate in Florida – Summary Administration
Summary administration is an expedited form of probate in Florida. In this type of probate procedure, the decedent’s estate is neither opened nor closed, as there is no appointment of a personal representative.
Any interested person may ask the court to issue an Order of Summary Administration. Hence, it is possible to transfer the title of the assets subject to probate and redirect them to their respective heirs or beneficiaries.
In any case, the guidance of an expert attorney is crucial to identify legally acceptable reasons to reopen a closed estate subject to summary administration.
How to Reopen Probate in Florida – An In-Depth Approach
Florida Statutes §733.903 provides that “the final settlement of an estate and the discharge of the personal representative shall not prevent further administration. The order of discharge may not be revoked based upon the discovery of a will or later will.”
When filing a petition to reopen a closed probate estate, the demanding party must follow the provisions set forth by Florida Probate Rule 5.460.
Specifically, this rule provides that “if, after an estate is closed, additional property of the decedent is discovered or if further administration of the estate is required for any other reason, any interested person may file a petition for further administration of the estate.”
Therefore, “the petition shall be filed in the same probate file as the original administration. The petition shall state:
- the name, address, and interest of the petitioner in the estate
- the reason for further administration of the estate
- the description, approximate value, and location of any asset not included among the assets of the prior administration, and
- a statement of the relief sought”
As it is plain to see, reopening a probate estate that has been closed already may be a complex task, which requires the guidance of an expert Florida probate lawyer.
Reopening a Closed Probate Estate – Immediately Contact Your Florida Probate Lawyer
Reopening a closed probate estate requires a strategic approach. Waste no time – call Attorneys Romy B. Jurado and Diana C. Collazos today at (305) 921-0976 or email [email protected] to schedule a consultation.