Losing a loved one can bring many challenges, including the need to distribute their assets. In Florida, this court process is referred to as probate. Two options for probate exist in the state, summary administration and formal administration. Which one is most appropriate often depends on the size and complexity of the estate. No matter the type of probate, it’s essential to handle the sale of real estate with care and follow all relevant laws.
Simplifying the Process with Summary Administration
Summary administration is the preferred method for smaller estates valued at less than $75,000 or when the deceased has passed away over two years ago. This is a quicker and more straightforward court process, with the petitioner of the estate being responsible for distributing assets, including real estate. Although summary administration typically requires less time and expense than a formal administration, it’s still essential to follow proper procedures.
Complexities of Formal Administration
Formal administration is required for larger estates valued over $75,000 or when the deceased passed away less than two years ago. The process involves a more in-depth, formal procedure for distributing assets, including real estate. Although it may be more time-consuming and intricate, formal administration is often the preferred form of probate for estates that have multiple assets, beneficiaries, or creditors.
Selling Real Estate During Probate
For the sale of real estate to take place during the formal administration probate process, the personal representative of the estate must file a petition for authority to see the property (unless the will contains a power of sale). Court approval is often necessary, and the sale must follow all formalities of Florida law. The process can be complex, making the help of a real estate and probate attorney invaluable.
To sell real estate during the formal administration probate process, there are several crucial steps to take. First, the property’s value must be determined through a professional appraisal or by working with a real estate agent. The appraisal (or the real estate comparables) must be submitted to the court. Once an offer is accepted, the purchase contract must also be given to the court for approval.
For a summary administration, no court approval is needed to sell real property. The probate petition is filed, other necessary documents are drafted and filed with the court, and then the probate proceeding is closed out. Upon obtaining the final order from the court that distributes the assets to the heirs, the sale can take place. Summary administrations may often be completed in as little as three weeks so it makes sense not to have to go through the court approval process in order to complete the purchase and sale transaction.
It’s essential to keep in mind that selling real estate during the probate process may take longer than a standard real estate transaction. However, with the proper support, including working with an experienced probate and real estate attorney, the process can be streamlined and made more manageable.
Getting Legal Help
The sale of real estate during a probate in Florida is a delicate matter that requires attention to detail. Whether it’s summary or formal administration, the assistance of experienced professionals can make a big difference.
The real estate and probate attorneys at Farshchian Law P.A. have years of experience handling probate matters and can guide you through the Florida probate and real estate sale process. If you need assistance with the sale or transfer of real estate that has to go through the probate process, contact us for a free consultation at (305) 901-5628 or (239) 935-8599, or email us at Info@JFRealEstateLaw.com.