Living Trust
Florida Avoiding Probate

Florida Avoiding Probate


Jennifer Mcgee


Updated on  

March 17, 2023

5 Mins


What is Probate?

Probate is a formal legal/judicial procedure that allows a court of law to accept a decedent's Will. The beneficiaries will then receive the property/assets through the appointment of executors or personal representatives by the court. The Court of Law oversees everything that is done here, and this process takes a lot of patience, time, and money to complete.

Read this article to know more about Probate and connect with TrulyWill to get your Probate of Will out the door quickly. 

Why avoid Probate in Florida? 

Following are the reasons why you should avoid Probate:

  • Probate delays the distribution of your assets.
  • It is time-consuming and expensive
  • The hiring cost of Probate attorneys is high
  • Unnecessary stress to executors, beneficiaries, and your loved ones.
  • Details of your estate become public records.
Florida Avoiding Probate

What assets can avoid probate in Florida?

The following assets can avoid probate in Florida and the beneficiary gets the distribution after a person’s death without any involvement of the court to determine whether the beneficiary should receive them or not. 

1. Jointly owned Assets. 

Any property owned jointly with another person does not go through probate. For example, bank accounts and real estate, but can also involve any other asset with a joint owner.

There are 2 types of Joint ownership in Florida:

  • Joint tenancy. It automatically passes property to the surviving owners when either of the owners dies.
  • Tenancy by the entirety. This form of joint ownership is just like joint tenancy and it is valid for married couples only in Florida.

2. Lady Bird Deeds

Transfer on death deeds is not recognized in Florida. It uses Lady Bird Deeds which transfers the real estate property to your beneficiaries after you die without going through probate.  It is also known as an Enhanced Life Estate Deed.

The reason behind this is that it allows you to retain a life estate in the deed. The home or the real estate property is yours until you die. 

Learn more about Lady Bird Deeds in Florida.

3. Payable-On-Death bank accounts

In Florida Payable-On-Death bank account is an agreement between you and the bank or credit union accounts that can avoid probate by automatically transferring your assets to the designated beneficiaries.

4. Living Trusts

If you create a Living Trust in Florida, your estate will be transferred to your beneficiaries soon after your death without any involvement of the Court. 

Your Successor Trustee will make the distribution as per your wishes by transferring the ownership of the Trust property to your beneficiaries. 

Once you put your assets into a Trust, those assets are named and owned by the Trust itself and after you die, those assets do not become a part of your Estate and therefore do not go through the Probate Process.

Read more about creating a Living Trust in Florida.

5. Simplified Probate Procedures

In Florida, there are 2 Probate shortcuts available to the Executor or personal representatives. Even if you do not have the above-mentioned documents, your Estate may still avoid Probate. 

1. Disposition Without Administration
2. What is Summary Administration

For more details, see Florida Probate Shortcuts

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Frequently Asked Questions

How long does Probate take in Florida?

Probate in Florida usually takes between 6 months to 1 year.

What is a Probate Court?

The court having jurisdiction in matters involving the execution of Wills, administration of Estates, guardianship, conservatorship, etc. is a Probate Court.

What is Disposition Without Administration?

Disposition Without Administration is a quick and inexpensive informal probate process in Florida, designed for estates of minimal value.

What is Summary Administration?

Summary Administration is a simplified probate procedure in Florida for small Estates.

Can I transfer mortgaged house or real estate to my Living Trust?

Yes. You can transfer your house or real estate to your Trust even if they are mortgaged.
Jennifer Mcgee
Parent to five young children. Estate Planning, Probate, and Family Law Attorney. Volunteer with Victim’s Advocates in the local sheriff's department...
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Jennifer Mcgree
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