Florida probate refers to the legal process that takes place after a person’s death to administer their estate. It involves validating the deceased person’s will (if one exists), identifying and gathering their assets, paying off debts and taxes, and distributing the remaining assets to beneficiaries or heirs.

  1. There are two types of probate in Florida:
    Formal Administration: Formal administration refers to the standard probate process in Florida for administering an estate. It is the more comprehensive and detailed approach compared to summary administration. Formal administration is typically used when the value of the estate exceeds $75,000 (excluding exempt property and certain non-probate assets) or when the decedent’s will specifically requires formal administration.
  2. Summary Administration: Summary administration is a simplified and expedited form of probate that can be used to administer certain estates in Florida when specific criteria are met. It is an alternative to formal administration, which is the standard probate process.


Probate in Florida is overseen by the court system, follows the specific laws and procedures, and generally includes the following steps:

  1. Filing the Last Will & Testament and initiating the probate process with the appropriate Florida probate court.
  2. Appointing a personal representative or executor to manage the estate.
  3. Identifying and gathering all of the deceased person’s assets, including property, bank accounts, investments, and personal belongings.
  4. Providing notice to creditors.
  5. Paying off outstanding debts, taxes, and any administrative expenses associated with the estate.
  6. Distributing the remaining assets according to the terms of the will or the state’s intestate laws if there is no will.
  7. Closing the probate case once all tasks are completed, which includes obtaining court approval and releasing the personal representative from their duties.


It is important to note that not all assets may need to go through probate in Florida. Some assets, such as those held in a trust or jointly owned with right of survivorship, may pass directly to the designated beneficiaries or co-owners without the need for probate.

The complexity and duration of the Florida probate process can vary depending on the size of the estate, the presence of a valid will, and any potential disputes or complications that may arise. Seeking guidance from an experienced probate attorney can help navigate the process efficiently and ensure compliance with Florida probate laws.