Formal Administration

Formal administration is Florida’s traditional form of probate. Formal administration starts with a petition to open the estate and an appointment of a Personal Representative. The state of Florida has a probate process known as “Summary Administration” that may be used by estates where the value is less than $75,000, or estates where decedents have been dead for more than two years.

Estates that do not meet these criteria must follow the more expansive probate court-supervised process of “Formal Administration”

Florida imposes a $400 flat fee for each estate that files for a formal probate. The Florida court may require several documents for filing of a formal administration. These documents may contain:

  • All pertinent information about the person filing the petition, the name, address, interest in the estate, and the name and address of the petitioner’s probate attorney
  • All pertinent information regarding the decedent including legal name, last known address, and the age at time of death, place of death, state and county of domicile, and social security number
  • All relevant information about the beneficiaries of the estate, including legal names, addresses, dates of birth of any minors, and the nature of relationships to the decedent
  • The reason for naming the chosen personal representative and a list of the personal representative’s qualifications to serve under Florida law
  • A list detailing the value and nature of the decedent’s assets
  • A declaration on whether the estate will be needing to file federal estate tax returns
  • A declaration of the decedent having a last will and testament, a statement identifying all unrevoked wills, and any amendments to the will that have been presented for probate
  • A declaration if the decedent did not have a last will and testament
  • A declaration stating that after the exercise of reasonable diligence, the petitioner was unable to locate any wills or codicils

What probate orders are required to open Formal Administration in Florida?

Once the judge reviews and approves the Petition for Administration the judge will issue:

  • Testate estates: If the decedent died testate, the probate judge will sign an order admitting will to the probate and appointing personal representative as well as letters of administration. The letters are needed by the personal representative to prove that they have been named executor by the probate judge.
  • Intestate estates. If the decedent died intestate (without signing a valid last will and testament prior to death) then the probate judge will sign an order appointing personal representative and letters of administration.

If you have questions or wish to schedule a consultation with our attorneys, Call our office today at (386) 734-2558. At Taylor and Nordman P.A., we can assist with estate planning, wills, trusts, probate, and probate litigation.