Probate Case Scenarios and Solutions
The following are typical Florida probate cases that we handle:
Summary Administration for Real Estate only
Non-homestead Real Estate:
If the decedent owns only non-homestead real estate (real estate which was not decedent’s principal residence), then a Summary Administration is appropriate, provided that either the property is worth less than $75,000 or it has been more than 2 years since the decedent died.
Homestead Real Estate (only):
If the decedent’s only significant asset is homestead property (real estate which was decedent’s principal residence), then a Summary Administration is available, provided that all other personal assets are less than $75,000 or it has been more than 2 years since the decedent died.
Summary Administration for Personal Property only
If the decedent’s only assets were personal property such as stocks/securities, bank accounts, death payouts from various pension, retirement or other similar plans, Summary Administration is available provided that the total of the personal assets (located in Florida) are less than $75,000 or it has been more than 2 years since the decedent died.
Formal administration is typically required when one or more the following conditions exist:
- There are more than $75,000 in assets (other than the principal residence);
- There are multiple beneficiaries who will not readily consent to whatever the personal representative requests of the probate court;
- There are multiple creditor claims;
- There is a wrongful death lawsuit; or
- A beneficiary can not be located
Overbid or Excess Proceeds from Tax Auctions
Overbid funds usually arise as a result of a property which has been auctioned because the original owners failed to pay the property taxes (property taxes became delinquent.) In many cases, the winning bid exceeds the actual amount of delinquent taxes owed. This “profit” is makes up the overbid funds or overbid proceeds and the owner who lost the property, is entitled to the profit (less any liens or costs which need to be paid other than the tax liability.)
Often the single reason that the taxes became delinquent is that the owner has died and never notified relatives about the property. If indeed, the owner died, then the property owner’s heirs are entitled to the overbid funds.
The county which holds the overbid funds will typically not release them to the heirs/beneficiaries unless they have probate orders to do so.
We handle “overbid probates” on a regular basis! Request your today!
Real Estate Investors
We work with many real estate investors who focus on properties which require probate.
Typically, a real estate investor will learn that the seller of a piece of property has not actually inherited the property through probate. If probate is required, there is no way to circumvent the process. This applies even if a Last Will and Testament is available. The Will is not “valid” until an Order Admitting Will to Probate has been entered (as part of a probate proceeding.)
A common mistake which many new probate property investors make is assuming that probate is just a formality which can be bypassed. We suggest that you explore the probate process BEFORE making an offer on the property.
In some cases, investors looking to present an attractive offer to the sellers may consider paying the probate fees and costs for the seller. We find that sellers often choose not to pay any money out of pocket for the probate fees and costs and simply let the property taxes go delinquent.