Florida offers a probate shortcut for "small estates." This makes it easier for survivors to transfer property left by a person who has died. You may be able to transfer a large amount of property using the following probate shortcut -- saving time, money, and hassle.
Florida has a simplified probate process for small estates. To use it, an executor files a written request with the local probate court asking to use the simplified procedure. The court may authorize the executor to distribute the assets without having to jump through the hoops of regular probate.
You can use the simplified small estate process in Florida if:
1. There is no real estate, and all property is exempt from creditors' claims except amounts needed to pay funeral and two months' last illness expenses. The court will authorize transfer of property to people entitled to it. Fla. Stat. Ann. § 735.301.
2. The value of the entire estate subject to administration in Florida, less the value of property that is exempt from creditors' claims, doesn't exceed $75,000, OR the deceased person has been dead more than two years. A petition must be filed with the court. Fla. Stat. Ann. § § 735.201 and following.
For help determining if an estate qualifies for one of these probate shortcuts, or handling an estate in general, see The Executor's Guide, by Mary Randolph (Nolo), or Estate Planning Basics, by Denis Clifford (Nolo).