During probate proceedings, the first thing that a Florida court must determine is which assets are probate assets and which are not probate assets. Next, the estate will be administered according to one of three different ways:
— By affidavit or summary administration
— Supervised or formally
If the value of the estate is small, Florida heirs might be able to administer the estate by affidavit. This involves the completion of a special affidavit and filing it with the court. Then, the party in control of the estates assets will release them over to the heir with nothing else required.
Informal administration is completed without court supervision. Usually, heirs will only require limited involvement from an attorney in the proceedings. However, an attorney might be more involved if the heirs require more help with the process.
Formal (or supervised) administration is required in the event that a dispute happens between potential heirs of the estate. Usually, attorneys need to be involved throughout the length of a supervised probate, which the court has to reach a determination on after hearing each party’s arguments.
Estate administration in probate proceedings can be resolved relatively quickly — in the span of six months — or it could take as many as several years in more complicated cases. Once the probate process has been brought to a conclusion, the estate will then be distributed in accordance with the decedent’s last will and testament. Alternatively, if no will exists, the estate will be distributed according to Florida intestacy laws.
Source: LawInfo, “How are Probate Assets Distributed in a Probate Proceeding?,” accessed June 05, 2015