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Let Our Family Help Yours


Let Our Family Help Yours

Tips to help you reduce ancillary probate costs for your heirs

On Behalf of | May 19, 2023 | Estate Planning | 0 comments

If you live in a Florida home for part of the year but hold residency in another state, managing your estate can become complex and expensive after your death. Your personal representative and family members may have to shoulder the burden of additional fees and costs when transferring local assets to your heirs, especially if you own real estate.

According to the Florida Courts, if a non-resident has assets in the state and passes away while here, ancillary probate allows for passing the ownership of assets to the designated beneficiaries.

How does ancillary probate work?

Ancillary administration involves many of the same processes as the in-state procedure, called domiciliary probate. It includes the following:

  • Terms of bond
  • Notice to creditors
  • Ability to pay off debt
  • Authority to sell the property

Domiciliary probate may distribute the assets to your heirs once the ancillary process concludes. If your assets such as a boat, real estate or other tangible property have a value of less than $50,000, your personal representative may conduct the summary ancillary administration. However, if the assets have greater value, a lawyer must oversee the process. The cost for this type of administration often begins at 3% of your total Florida estate. For example, if you own a vacation home and boat with a combined value of $450,000, fees may start at $13,500.

Can you avoid ancillary probate?

You can take steps now that may help your loved ones avoid the expense of ancillary probate. Add your chosen beneficiary or personal representative to the title of each property in question. It gives them the right of survivorship, which makes probate unnecessary. You can move the Florida property into a trust or business entity. This changes the process, which also helps you avoid probate. A third option is to prepare, sign and record an enhanced life estate deed. It passes real estate outside of probate.

Understanding various estate planning instruments can help you use probate strategies to minimize the expense and ensure your beneficiaries receive your property as you intended.

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