In Which Circumstances Can an Estate Entirely Avoid Probate?

In Which Circumstances Can an Estate Entirely Avoid Probate?

There are some circumstances in which Florida estates do not have to go through the probate process. This usually happens when the deceased person leaves very little behind in terms of assets or property.

Florida offers what is called Disposition Without Administration, a process that lets a person who paid for the final expenses of a deceased person (such as funeral and final medical costs) be reimbursed through the estate’s assets.

However, the situations in which this is an option are relatively rare. The process can only be used when both of the following stipulations apply:

  • The deceased person did not leave behind any real estate.
  • The only assets in the estate are either exempt from the claims or creditors or do not exceed the total amount of final expenses.

A person who wishes to request reimbursement through this process must file a form called “Disposition of Personal Property Without Administration,” available at the court clerk’s office and many state circuit court websites. There is a small filing fee associated with submitting the paperwork.

On the document, you are required to state the total amount of money you’ve spent on these final expenses, and provide documentation by submitting itemized bills and receipts. These expenses must have occurred within the final 60 days of the deceased person’s life. You will also state the specific assets you wish to be paid from, and must attach a certified death certificate copy. If the estate had a will, you must file it with the local circuit court.

For further information on disposition without administration, speak with a knowledgeable Tampa estate planning lawyer at BaumannKangas Estate Law.