Orlando, FL asked in Probate for Florida

Q: My mother is trying to file a petition for administration regarding her husband .She is having trouble finding the docs

He passed last December and she is at a loss. The amount is small so she wants to do it herself. She only gets social security

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1 Lawyer Answer
Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Orlando, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: I am sorry for your loss, please accept my condolences. If you check with the clerk of the court in the county where your mom and her husband lived, either online or directly with the clerk, you usually can find the basic forms that you may be able to use to file a basic probate. It is often the case, based on the type of assets and what needs to be done, that the court/judge may require you to get an attorney, at other times they will allow you to try to plod along on your own. If the sums you are talking about are relatively minimal, you may be able to handle it via Disposition of Property Without Administration, I would no doubt try this route first based on what you have described, if you have to do a Summary Administration, you may still be able to handle it but it becomes more complicated and likely a probate attorney will end up being needed in many/most instances. It may be possible to use Florida Statute 735.303 , take a closer look at the entire statute, but if we are talking about $1000 or less with a bank it may work, see below;

4. A parent of the decedent if the decedent left no surviving spouse, no surviving adult child, and no surviving adult descendant.

(b) “Qualified account” means a depository account or certificate of deposit held by a financial institution in the sole name of the decedent without a pay-on-death or any other survivor designation.

(2) A financial institution in this state may pay to the family member of a decedent, without any court proceeding, order, or judgment, the funds on deposit in all qualified accounts of the decedent at the financial institution if the total amount of the combined funds in the qualified accounts at the financial institution do not exceed an aggregate total of $1,000. The financial institution may not make such payment earlier than 6 months after the date of the decedent’s death.

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