Assets that are held in the sole name of a Miami decedent are subject to probate. Assets that are held in a trust or under joint names or have a designated beneficiary are not subject to probate. A formal probate administration may not be necessary in Miami-Dade County if the decedent was a resident at the time of death and owned assets of $6,000 or less and no real property. A small estate process known as a Disposition of Personal Property without Administration can be conducted instead of a formal probate process. A small estate requires less formal proceedings and can be handled quicker.
An experienced Miami probate and estate attorney can answer questions regarding Miami small estate matters and assist with court filings as well as larger formal probate estate matters. The attorney can assist the personal representative or executor of the estate with preparing and filing the petition for small estate with the Miami-Dade County Clerk’s office, together with a certified copy of the decedent’s death certificate, copy of the funeral bill, documentation regarding the decedent’s assets, and the appropriate filing fee.
Under Florida law, when the estate of the decedent is valued at less than $75,000 and consists of personal property, the beneficiary, personal representative or executor of such Miami estate can file a summary administration within two years after the decedent’s death with the Miami-Dade circuit court. An experienced Miami probate and estate attorney can also prepare and file the summary administration. A summary administration petition should show that the petitioners are entitled to the summary administration. It must also provide an accounting of the decedent’s assets, including the value of the assets and a list of exempt assets, a schedule of distribution of assets to any surviving spouse and other heirs and provide a statement that the estate owes no debts or that provisions have been made for payment of the debts. After reviewing the petition, th court may approve the disposition and transfer of the personal property to the rightful beneficiaries and heirs of the decedent.
Since Miami probate matters can be complex and most people are not familiar with the Florida probate laws, the assistance of a Miami probate and estate attorney is usually necessary to guide the personal representative and/or beneficiaries through the process whether the estate is small or large. An attorney can be of great assistance in resolving disputes that may arise as well. Hiring a Miami probate and estate attorney ensures that the proceedings go smoothly and efficiently so that the heirs and beneficiaries can receive their inheritances in a timely manner.
If you are looking for a Miami estate attorney, call the Law Offices of Albert Gurevich at (786) 522-1411.