Is an estate too small to probate? Anytime that there’s an asset in the name of the decedent, and there was no designated beneficiary. It has to go through some sort of probate proceeding. Now, the answer, to the question is, you don’t want to pay the lawyer or someone to handle the probate that costs more than the asset that you’re trying to have passed to a beneficiary. There are various, small estate, administrations, if the assets less than $10,000 and the funeral bill has been paid, then you may be able to proceed with the court and get a distribution without administration, without going through a formal type of probate. If the assets exceed the $10,000. And however, they’re less than $75,000 and provision has been made to pay all the creditors. Well, in that event, you can file what they call a summary administration, which is a short version of probate and is fairly quick and is less expensive than what they call a formal administration.
If the assets exceed $75,000, or that there are creditors that no provisions has been made for, then you would go through what they call a formal administration, where you have letters of administration issued to the executor, and you give notice to creditors. You have the claims filed, you have the beneficiaries to determine, and if there’s real property involved, you have the property declared to be homestead, which may be exempt from the claims of creditors. So then if, even if it’s so small that it doesn’t make any sense to even go to a smallest state administration, after a certain amount of time, the asset may be forfeited unless it’s real estate and go to the to the state of Florida. And they have a treasure hunt after two or three years where you could possibly apply to obtain the asset. Once it’s forfeited to the state of Florida. If you have any questions about probate, give me a call at (727) 847-2288.