Our attorneys have extensive experience in the areas of probate and trust litigation, including will contests and trust disputes, and are regularly appointed by the court and other public authorities to handle sensitive and challenging matters. The Firm represents both professional fiduciaries and beneficiaries of trusts and estates.

Uncontested Probate
Uncontested probate, unlike other areas of law such as civil litigation or criminal defense, is a process that seldom requires the attorney or client to appear in court. Because of this, the work is almost exclusively done from a distance, either by mail or phone, which saves fees and costs for the client. As such, I handle uncontested probate proceedings throughout the state of Florida, and in the very rare instance where a judge requires my physical presence at a hearing, with the client's permission I may retain local counsel to attend the hearing to preserve fees and costs for the client.

Types of Court Proceedings
The following is a brief overview of three types of court proceedings used in Florida to pass title to a decedent's assets to the decedent's intended heirs.

• Summary administration
may be had in the administration of either a resident or nonresident decedent's estate, when it appears:
(1) In a testate estate, that the decedent's will does not direct administrationas required by chapter 733.
(2) That the value of the entire estate subject to administration in this state, less the value of property exempt from the claims of creditors, does not exceed $75,000 or that the decedent has been dead for more than 2 years.

• Admission of Foreign Will to Record
A nonresident decedent who dies owning real property in Florida and has a will that is being or has been probated in another state, may qualify to petition the Florida court to admit the decedent's foreign will to record. Once the foreign will is admitted to record by order of the Florida court, the foreign will acts like a deed or muniment of title in the public records transferring the title to the Florida real property to the persons named in the will. This special type of court petition has a very narrow application and should be discussed with an attorney to determine if it is appropriate for the estate you are handling.

• Formal administration (Florida Statutes, Chapter 733)
must be had if the decedent's estate does not qualify for Summary administration (i.e. the decedent has not been dead for more than 2 years and the decedent's assets subject to administration in this state exceed $75,000 and/or the will requires a Formal administration.)

This web site is designed for general information only. The information presented should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

Law Office Of Charlene Francis
1122 Third Street, #8 - Neptune Beach, Florida 32266
P.O. Box 51246, Jacksonville Beach, Fl 32240-1246
Telephone (904) 242-7979 • Facsimile (904) 242-7977

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These materials have been prepared by the Law Office of Charlene Francis, P.A. for information purposes only and are not legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, a lawyer-client relationship. Users of this web site should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel. Please do not send us information on any particular legal matter on which you are seeking guidance until you are asked to do so by one of our lawyers. The firm does not assume any legal obligation to respond to unsolicited email.

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