If you are the family of someone who recently passed away, you are probably wondering now what it is you have to do when it comes to settling that person’s estate. One thing that you may be especially wondering is if you have to file any will that your loved one wrote with the courts in Florida with a Miami estate attorney. You do have to file a will with the courts for every estate case, but the way each case is dealt with by the court does differ when it comes to how much the estate is worth, meaning that the amount of work involved can be different for each case.

There are three ways that a will can be probated in Florida and each involves having to file any existing will with the courts at some point. However, filing the will is not the same as going to court to probate the estate, which is something that should be kept in mind when it comes to smaller estates.

For estates where the testator did not own any real estate, did not have bills that added up to more than their assets and had less than $10,000 in assets, the Will is taken care of with what is called Disposition Without Administration. Here, the personal representative of the estate only needs to file the death certificate, the will, and a form that documents the funeral expenses and last 60 days of medical expenses for the testator. Also included must be information on what account paid these final expenses. This final form is filed with the courts with a small fee. Disposition without administration has the least amount of involvement from the courts and is for small estates only.

When it comes to larger estates, there are two ways of probating the estate, both involving more intervention by the courts. For probating an estate under $75,000, there is summary administration of the estate, which is basically a shortcut. With this type of administration, there is an executor and the court would have to approve dispersing the estate after payment of creditors. There is also what is called former administration, which is what is known as “regular” probate. Here is the typical type of probate with all of the formalities of the probate court.

If there has been a will in any kind of estate, it will have to be submitted to the court at some point, although with a disposition without administration, the court does not have involvement in paying out the assets. What should also be kept in mind is that some types of property, such as jointly held real property or bank accounts, would pass outside probate, meaning that those would not be included in any filings with the court. Regardless of the value of the estate, the best bet of any executor is to work with a Miami estate attorney when it comes to how to settle the estate so that it is done properly. Call the Law Offices of Albert Gurevich at (786) 522-1411.