Q: Do I have to file a petition for Summary Administration to transfer a homestead if there are no non-exempt assets?
The only items there are are the homestead property, 1 primary vehicle and the furnishings of the house which are certainly less than $20k in value. I am only just trying to sell the house, not interested in keeping it.
A: I am sorry for your loss and please accept my condolences. While you need to speak with a Florida Probate Attorney and provide additional details, the answer to your question is that you will need some version of probate if the property did not pass via the deed (rights of survivorship, enhanced life estate deed). If the property was Homestead, other issues may apply and arise related to the transfer of the property related to a spouse and or minor child, also, was there a Will, and while there are various exempt assets, you have to petition the court for this, also, the Homestead status needs to also be determined via a petition to the court.
1 user found this answer helpful
Thank you for your question. Yes, it is most likely that you will need to open a probate estate to transfer the homestead and the other assets. When an asset such as a homestead, a vehicle, or furniture, furnishings and appliances are deemed to be "exempt property", that does not mean that they are exempt from probate. That just means that they are exempt from creditor claims as they pass through the estate. You will still need an order signed by a judge to officially transfer ownership to you, especially of the homestead. The only exception is that the vehicle can be transferred at the tag office with a death certificate and an heirs affidavit that is on the back of the title transfer form. If there is more than one heir, then the other heirs will need to give you a tag office POA so that you can transfer title and/or sell the vehicle to a third party.
The summary administration proceeding would involve filing two petitions with the Court. The first is the petition for summary administration which lists all of the assets and states that they are exempt. The second is the petition to determine homestead status. The order that you will be most interested in having is the order determining homestead status. When the judge signs that order and records it in the public records, it transfers the property to the heirs just like a deed. Then the heirs are the owners and are able to sell the property. This is the only way to get good clear title to the property (unless it was co-owned with survivorship--then you would only need to record a death certificate). The order of summary administration reflects that the vehicle and the contents of the home have also been transferred to the heirs.
I would be happy to talk with you about this case in greater detail. Our office offers a free 15 minute phone consultation, and we handle probate estates anywhere in Florida.
1 user found this answer helpful
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.