Probate Administration in Florida for a Non-Resident Decedent

It is common for residents of other states or foreign countries, such as Canada, to own property of one kind or another in Florida. When a non-resident of Florida dies and owns property in Florida, a probate administration of that decedent’s estate may be necessary to transfer ownership to the proper person.

Florida has jurisdiction over real property within its boundaries. Usually, the property involved in the administration of an estate of a non-resident is real property such as land, homes, condominiums, or timeshares. Personal property, such as financial accounts owned by a non-resident, may also require administration in Florida.

What is Ancillary Administration?

When a non-resident of Florida dies and owns Florida property, a probate proceeding in their home state takes place, and an ancillary administration proceeding is held in Florida. The executor or personal representative is appointed in a probate proceeding in the state of the decedent’s permanent residence. Ancillary administration allows the transfer of Florida property to be released to the personal representative and beneficiaries in other states.

An Overview of Ancillary Administration

Ancillary administration is similar to regular probate administration in Florida. A personal representative may be required to purchase a bond that safeguards interested parties in a probate proceeding from damages, such as breach of duty and fraud. The venue for the proceeding is held in the county where the decedent’s property is located. The personal representative is required to notify creditors of the decedent’s passing. Two years after the death, all claims to the estate are barred. The remaining assets are released to the personal representative to be distributed according to the will. If there is no will, the assets are distributed according to the state’s intestacy laws.

Types of Probate Administration

The type of probate procedure required depends on the nature of the property in Florida (whether real estate or personal property), how long the decedent has been deceased, the value of the property, and whether there is a pending probate proceeding in another state or country. Larger estates require a ancillary formal administration, while those with less value or if the decedent passed away more than two years ago, can have an abbreviated ancillary summary administration. We often counsel our non-residents of Florida to place their property in a revocable trust to avoid the probate process.

We are Committed to Simplifying the Process

Being tasked with handling the affairs of a Florida non-resident can be overwhelming. The legal team at C.J. Hilliard Law, P.A., is ready to assist you with administering and transferring property in Florida for a non-resident decedent.

Contact C.J. Hilliard Law, P.A. at (407) 656-1576 to talk to an estate administration lawyer that can answer your questions and concerns. Our office location is Winter Garden, Florida. We are an experienced probate administration law firm helping families throughout Orlando and Central Florida.

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