Probate is the legal process by which a deceased person’s assets are collected, liabilities are liquidated, taxes are paid, and property is distributed to heirs, all under the supervision of the probate court.  The legal process of transferring property when someone dies can be complex.  The Law Office of Donna R. Joseph, P.A. can provide the guidance and assistance necessary to ensure a successful probate administration.  We handle estates of all sizes and complexities, from simple estates valued at less than $20,000 to more complex taxable estates valued in the millions.

Our firm represents both in-state and out-of-state Personal Representatives and beneficiaries in Florida probate procedures throughout Miami-Dade and Broward Counties.  Our Florida probate services include all of the steps necessary to ensure a successful probate administration such as: 

  • Filing the necessary documentation with the Probate Court to open the estate
  • Counseling the Personal Representative on the actions they must take to fulfill their fiduciary duty
  • Obtaining a federal tax ID for the estate
  • Marshaling and valuing the assets and debts of the estate
  • Notifying creditors and other interested parties of the probate action
  • Protecting assets which are exempt from claims of creditors
  • Analyzing and addressing Florida homestead related issues
  • Payment of outstanding debts and tax obligations, if required
  • Distribute remaining estate assets in accordance with decedent’s Will or Florida intestacy laws
  • Completing the administration of the estate and filing the necessary documentation with the Probate Court to close the estate

Our firm handles all types of Florida probate proceedings including:

  • Formal Probate Administration – (Florida Statutes, Chapter 733) – must be administered if the decedent’s estate does not qualify for Summary Administration (i.e. the decedent has not been dead for more than 2 years and the decedent’s assets subject to administration in this state exceed $75,000 and/or the decedent’s will requires a Formal administration.)
  • Summary Probate Administration – a simplified probate proceeding primarily for smaller estates which offers a quicker and less expensive alternative to Formal Administration.may be utilized in the administration of either a resident or nonresident decedent’s estate, when it appears:(1) In a testate estate, that the decedent’s will does not direct administration as required by chapter 733, and (2) That the value of the entire estate subject to administration in this state, less the value of of property exempt from the claims of creditors (e.g., homestead exempted property), exempt from the claims of creditors (e.g., homestead exempted property) does not exceed $75,000 or that the decedent has been dead for more than 2 years.
  • Ancillary Probate – A nonresident decedent who dies owning real property in Florida and has a will that is being or has been probated in another state, may qualify to petition the Florida court to admit the decedent’s foreign will to record. Once the foreign will is admitted to the probate record by order of the Florida court, the Florida court can transfer the title to the Florida real property to the persons named in the will.  If there is no will, the Florida court can transfer the property to those who would be entitled to it under Florida intestate law.
  • Probate for Non U.S. Citizens – the probate process can differ depending upon whether the decedent is a nonresident alien or a resident alien.
  • Elective Share – the elective share statue can provide surviving spouses with 30% of the deceased spouse’s elective estate.  Therefore, the surviving spouse may have the right to elect to receive the Florida elective share rather than the inheritance created by the estate plan.
  • Surviving Spouse Election of ½ of Decedent’s Interest in Homestead – instead of receiving only a life of the deceased spouse’s homestead property, the surviving spouse may make and record the appropriate election.Then when the property is sold, the surviving spouse can receive ½ of the decedent’s interest in the property.

If you have a probate related matter, or if you have concerns about protecting your inheritance in a Florida probate proceeding, please call the Law Office of Donna R. Joseph, P.A. at 305-341-3410.