For many Florida residents, probate is a complex matter. When someone dies with a valid will in Florida, the court will determine whether the estate is subject to probate based on several elements. Is there a probate threshold in Florida? Read on to discover the answer.
When Is Probate Not Necessary? – Disposition of Property Without Administration
In specific cases, Florida law has simplified methods of estate distribution upon death that may help heirs and beneficiaries to avoid probate. Please note that these provisions are available in limited circumstances.
Florida Statutes §735.301 (1) provide that “no administration shall be required, or formal proceedings instituted upon the estate of a decedent leaving only:
- Personal property exempt under the provisions of s. 732.402
- Personal property exempt from the claims of creditors under the Constitution of Florida, and
- Nonexempt personal property the value of which does not exceed the sum of the amount of preferred funeral expenses and reasonable and necessary medical and hospital expenses of the last 60 days of the last illness”
This simplified method of estate administration is called “disposition of property without administration.” In most cases, it may require no longer than 60 days to complete, permitting the decedent’s loved ones to avoid probate altogether.
Please note that no fixed amount will disqualify a decedent’s estate for disposition without administration. Additionally, not all of the testator’s property is considered to determine an estate’s eligibility for this type of procedure.
Florida Statutes §732.402 (2) specifies that “exempt property shall consist of:
- Household furniture, furnishings, and appliances in the decedent’s usual place of abode up to a net value of $20,000 as of the date of death.
- Two motor vehicles as defined in Fla. Stat. §316.003 (…)
- All qualified tuition programs authorized by s. 529 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (…)
- All benefits paid pursuant to Fla. Stat. §112.1915″
What is the Probate Threshold in Florida? – Summary Administration vs. Formal Administration
With a few exceptions, the key rule in Florida probate law is – the greater the value of a decedent’s estate, the more likely probate will happen. If an estate does not qualify for disposition without administration, it must go through probate.
According to Fla. Stat. §735.201 (2), summary administration is required for cases “that the value of the entire estate subject to administration in this state, less the value of property exempt from the claims of creditors, does not exceed $75,000 or that the decedent has been dead for more than 2 years.”
If one of the decedent’s loved ones seeks summary administration within two years of the person’s death, the petitioner must ensure all the deceased’s debts are settled. Otherwise, summary administration is not available.
If the decedent’s estate subject to probate is worth more than $75,000 or the decedent has been dead for less than two years, the estate must go through formal administration. Considered the default form of probate in Florida, it usually takes longer to complete.