It’s a quiet Sunday morning. You wake up slowly without the help of an alarm clock. Your coffee is brewing and the smell of pumpkin spice is spreading throughout the house. You prepare your breakfast plate (eggs, waffles, parfait). You take your first sip of coffee and the taste of cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon begin to calm your nerves. You begin to read the newspaper when all of a sudden your phone rings. The voice on the other end is speaking, but you don’t understand what they’re saying. You ask them to repeat themselves slowly, you are able to understand the words. Words you never thought you would hear. “I am sorry Rachel, but your father has passed away”. The coffee that just calmed your nerves is now flavorless. You were an only child and now both your parents have passed away. The thought of being alone has consumed you.

You prepare the funeral arrangements and try and trick yourself into thinking this isn’t happening. You think to yourself, my dad has no assets. He lived in a house that I owned and he had nothing. So instead of seeking the advice of a probate attorney after the funeral, you prepare yourself for a life alone without your father. 

The probate process is necessary to pass ownership of the decedent’s probate assets to the decedent’s beneficiaries

Four years go by and you meet with the family financial advisor. Your advisor says, “Did you know that your father had a checking account with $20,000?” You had no idea. You go to the bank the next day to get the money out of the account. Unfortunately the bank advises you, that you have no access to your father’s account. What do you do now?

Time to seek the guidance of an experienced probate attorney in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. 

Probate administration only applies to probate assets. In Florida, if an estate is valued under $75,000 or the decedent died over 2 years ago, the probate process is referred to as “Summary Administration”. If the deceased passed way without a will, it is  considered an “intestate summary administration” proceeding.   

The probate process is necessary to pass ownership of the decedent's probate assets to the decedent's beneficiaries. The Summary Administration process is much quicker then “Formal Administration”. It can be completed as soon as one week or up to a few months. “Formal Administration” can take up to 6 months or longer. 

In our scenario, Rachel will be able to file a Summary Administration because her father’s estate is valued under $75,000 and he passed away over 2 years ago. The fact that Rachel’s father passed away 4 years ago, creditor claims have been barred.  With the help of an experienced probate attorney in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Rachel will be able to gain access to the funds in her father’s bank account. 

If you have a family member that has passed away and you have not sought the advice of a probate attorney, you may be a beneficiary to assets that are just sitting dormant.  Contact The Hershey Law Firm, P.A. in Fort Lauderdale, Florida at (954) 303-9468 to schedule your free consultation.