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Formal Administration

(requires an Attorney)


An estate is administered using formal administration when:

A.      less than 2 years since the date of death have passed;


B.      the assets of an estate are worth more than $75,000, excluding            exempt property.

Exempt property is not counted towards the $75,000 cap. Exempt property includes the decedent’s Homestead property and the exempt property listed under Section 732.402, Florida Statutes. The most common exempt property under Section 732.402 include household furniture, furnishing and appliances in the decedent’s home up to a value of $20,000 and two motor vehicles. Other examples of exempt property are: trusts, accounts with designated beneficiaries (retirement accounts, life insurance, investment and other accounts payable to a designated beneficiary upon the death of the account’s owner), property owned jointly with rights of survivorship, and life estate deeds. 

This is Florida's Probate Code:  


Once the Personal Representative is appointed, he/she will be able to:

(1) obtain bank or investment information,

(2)     open an Estate Bank Account and begin paying bills (such as the electric bill and the homeowner association fees, if any),

(3)    accept the life insurance payment (if no beneficiary was designated or if the beneficiary who was designated is no longer alive,

(3)   deal with insurance companies or mortgage companies,

(4)    sell real property, and/or

(5)   file a lawsuit on behalf of the estate.

Filing Fee

Paid to Clerk of Court


$400 (plus credit card processing fee)

Filing Fee to Publish Notice to Creditors

Typically $80


1. Information Gathering: 

  • Obtain the original will and codicils (if any)

  • Obtain and compile a list of a beneficiaries, with name and         address.  

  • Compile a list of all assets that you know or have reason to         believe the decedent owned.

  • Obtain multiple certified copies of the death certificate. 

  • Check to see if any claims or caveats have been filed in the         Court Record. 


2. Initial Document Preparation: 

To open your Formal Administration in Florida, the following documents must be filed.

  • Petition for Administration

  • Oath of Personal Representative

  • Designation of Resident Agent 

  • Petition to Admit Will to Probate (if there is a will) 

  • Oath of Witness to Will (if a will and non-self proving)

  • Bond Application for Personal Representative (if required by the Judge) 

  • Affidavit of Heirs

  • Consent and Waiver by Beneficiaries

  •  Proposed Order Appointing Personal Representative

  • Proposed Letters of Administration  


3. Creditor Period. 

After the Personal Representative has been appointed, we will obtain an EIN for the Estate so that an Estate Bank Account can be opened.  We must also publish a Notice to Creditors in the local newspaper.  This starts the 3 month creditor period in which creditors must file a Statement of Claim.  (There are some exceptions, but if a creditor fails to file a Statement of Claim within this 3 month period, their claim is forever barred.)  If there are any Known Creditors (meaning, you have seen the bills that were sent to the decedent's address), we must send them a Notice to Creditors.  

During the Creditor Period, we will file:


  • Proof of Serving Notice to Creditors upon Known Creditors, if any

  • Inventory

  • Proof of Serving Inventory on Beneficiaries/Heirs and Known Creditors

  • Proof of Serving Notice to Creditors on Florida Medicaid Recovery Program (if the decedent was 55 years or older

  • Affidavit of No Florida Estate Tax Due

4.  After the Creditor Period.

We will pay creditors (if there are enough assets).  Then we will file:

  • Petition to Determine  Homestead Status of Real Property (if any)

  • Proposed Order Determining Homestead Property

  • Verified Statement Regarding Creditors 

  • Final Accounting of Personal Representative

  • Proof of serving Final Accounting on interested parties

  • Waivers from Beneficiaries

  • Proof of paying creditors, if any

  • Personal Representative's Proof of Distribution of Assets

  • Petition for Discharge

  • Proposed Order of Discharge

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