In Florida, a probate attorney can provide valuable services and advice and lead you to the swiftest transfer of property as possible. Florida has very special provisions for a loved one’s homestead property. If a homestead property is able to pass as homestead property*, then it passes free from the claims of creditors, and is seen as having a $0.00 value in the eyes of the Court.
What does this mean? It means that if the homestead property is the only asset passing through probate in Florida, then it can go through an abbreviated probate proceeding called a summary administration. Summary Administrations are much quicker and much less expensive than a formal probate. Summary Administrations (typically) take about 6 weeks to complete the probate process. This is usually the option for the beneficiaries because it can help transfer the assets so much quicker in an already very painful time.
In some cases, however, there may be reasons to want a formal probate proceeding even if the only asset passing through probate is homestead property. It is important to talk to a Florida probate attorney about the specifics of your circumstances to determine what the best option for the beneficiaries is.
The homestead property is still subject to a secured mortgage or other lien on the property and subject to any IRS liens or potential IRS liens.
* To determine if a home can pass as homestead property, please consult with a licensed probate attorney.