Last week, we defined the concept of probate. Essentially, probate is administration of assets. This administration takes two forms in the state of Florida – formal administration and summary administration.

Summary administration of assets is available under certain conditions, such as when the estate’s value is less than $75,000 or if the deceased has been dead for more than two years. If the provisions for summary administration do not apply, an estate proceeds through formal administration.

What assets are specifically subject to probate? Generally speaking, assets that are legally held in the name of the decedent alone, without a stated beneficiary or rights of survivorship, are administered through probate. Though the following is not an all-inclusive list, common examples of probate assets include the following:

-Bank accounts in the name of the deceased alone.

-Life insurance policies, annuity contracts, or IRAs payable to the deceased’s estate.

-Real estate titled in the name of the deceased alone, or titled to the deceased and another individual as tenants in common (unless it’s a homestead property).

By means of probate, assets are legally transferred to the parties with the right to claim them after the passing of the owner of record. Having an attorney on your side that understands the probate process is the best way to navigate the system and see to it that an estate is administered efficiently. At France Law Firm, we have the knowledge and tools to help you with the probate process.