What is Probate and How Does it Impact Real Estate?

Whether or not a deceased has a Will, as a general matter any property solely titled in the name of the decedent will need to go through a legal process known as probate.  

According to a 2019 survey conducted by Caring.com, 57% of adults in the United States do not currently have proper estate planning documents like a will or living trust but 76% of those who responded stated that having a will is important.  This spans across all income levels as a number of celebrities have died without a will including Aretha Franklin, Prince, Bob Marley and Sonny Bono.

To see all the details of this survey by Caring.com, please click here.

What is Probate?

According to www.FLCOURTS.org, probate is a “court supervised process for identifying and gathering the assets of a deceased person (decedent), paying the decedent’s debts, and distributing the decedent’s assets to his or her beneficiaries”.

In Florida Law there are two types of probate administration which are as follows:

  • Formal Administration
  • Summary Administration

Formal Administration is typically the most traditional type of probate in Florida and is required in Florida when non-exempt assets exceed $75,000 (also within two years of the date of death).  During this process a Personal Representative or “PR” (some other states refer to the Personal Representative as an Executor) is appointed by a judge and will be responsible for gathering the assets of the estate, pay all creditors and distribute the remaining proceeds to the beneficiaries.  

The Summary Administration process is a more shortened process and traditionally used when the size of the estate is less than $75,000 and there are few creditors.  There is also a process called “Disposition of Personal Property Without Administration” which is a non-court supervised process.  Florida Law requires legal representation for a Formal Administration (you must use an attorney licensed to practice in Florida). 

It is highly recommended to seek qualified legal council before moving forward with any Probate process.

What are Probate Assets?  

As mentioned, probate assets are typically in the sole name of the deceased person or have other owners but lack a provision for automatic change of owner upon death (ie. beneficiary designation).

  • Cash and Bank Accounts 
  • Stocks, Bonds and Investment Accounts
  • Certain Life insurance, annuities and retirement accounts
  • Real estate (individually owned or as tenants in common, unless a homestead property)

Since a home or other real property frequently represents the vast majority of the estate, and with real estate assets not immediately salable like stocks and bonds, great care is needed by the PR when deciding how best to proceed.

To learn more about your options, please read our article on  WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU INHERIT A HOME OR OTHER REAL ESTATE.

Probate and Real Estate

Once the probate process is completed, the home or other real estate is now in a state where it can be sold to a third party unless a court order has been provided to sell the property during the probate process.  Depending on your time frame and upon advice of your attorney, it is possible that the property can be properly prepared for marketing and offered for sale on the open market.

As a Certified Probate Real Estate Specialist (CPRES) we have knowledge of the probate process as well as the experience to get your property properly prepared for sale and sold for maximum value.  Some of the resources that are complimentary with our services include:

  • Coordinating of moving, storage and estate sale services
  • Addressing any health, life & safety issues
  • Property clean up and debris removal
  • Extensive referral network of service providers including attorneys, repair & maintenance vendors, estate sale services and appraisers (real estate, art and jewelry).

Whether your property is located in Florida or outside of the state, we have the ability to help.  Our team has assisted in selling over 500 properties in more than 20 different states.  

If you are ready to get started, now is the time to call Chris and Amy Losquadro for a free, 30-minute consultation to discuss your immediate needs and how we can help address them.  We can be reached day or night at (561) 584-8555 or via email at closquadro@quantumcos.com.  

Quantum Realty Advisors, Inc. is family-owned and operated real estate company and are here to help in your time of need.  



Disclaimer:  This information is provided for educational purposes only and does not represent legal advice.  We do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice.  You should seek independent representation.  If you need assistance finding representation we would be happy to help refer you to a qualified professional.