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Probate

What is Probate?

A holographic will is a will that is written and signed entirely in the testator’s handwriting. Half of the United States and many European countries, including Germany, recognize holographic wills as valid. Some states also recognize foreign holographic wills. Despite challenges to the current status of Florida law, holographic will remain invalid in Florida at this time. Florida recognizes wills that have been executed correctly in other states and countries, but Florida does not recognize holographic wills, even if valid in another state or country. In 1966, The Florida Supreme Court upheld the validity of the statutes denying the recognition of holographic wills in the case In re Estate of Olson, 181 So. 2d 642 (Fla. 1966).

 

Recently, in 2013, a new challenge to the constitutionality of the statute regarding holographic wills arose in the case of Lee v. Estate of Payne, 2013 WL 5225200 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2013). In the Lee case, a nonresident decedent died leaving a holographic will devising real property in Florida as well as proceeds from the sale of real estate in Florida. This latest challenge to Florida law is based on an earlier Florida Supreme Court decision in Shriners Hospitals for Crippled Children v. Zrillic, 563 So. 2d 64 (Fla. 1990), where the court held that a different probate statute was unconstitutional because the law deprived the testator and the legatees of the right to receive, enjoy and dispose of property. The result in the Lee case was that Florida’s Second District Court of Appeals found that the statutes dealing with holographic wills were not unconstitutional.

 


Probate is the common term for the administration of the estate of a person who has died, also called a decedent. The estate is administered by a personal representative, who is also commonly known as an executor, executrix, administrator, or administratrix. Administration of an estate takes place in the state or country where the decedent lived. The process includes collecting all of the decedent’s property, paying the decedent’s debts, and distributing what remains to beneficiaries. A decedent is either considered testate or intestate. Testacy means that the person died with a valid will. Intestacy is when a person dies without a will or with a will that is invalid for some reason. In the probate of a testate estate, the intention is also probated or proved to be valid.

 


The administration includes the distribution of property according to the terms of the will. In many jurisdictions, there are two types of probate: Probate in Solemn Form, which is more formal; and Probate in Common Form, which has fewer formal legal requirements. In Florida, “Full Administration,” the “Solemn Form,” is the more formal version, while “Summary Administration,” the “Common Form,” exists for estates with fewer assets or after two years have passed since the date of the decedent’s death (F.S. s. 735.201). Florida also has a special provision for Disposition of Personal Property without Administration, which only applies in very limited circumstances. Florida law requires a personal representative to be represented by an attorney licensed to practice law in the state of Florida (Fla. Prob. R. 5.030). Another type of probate is the ancillary administration.

 

Ancillary administration is the administration of a decedent’s estate in a state or country other than where the decedent lived, to dispose of property the decedent owned there. Ancillary administration is conducted according to the type of administration that applies to the property. Urban Thier & Federer and its attorneys have been involved in many the United States, Germany, and United Kingdom probate and estate matters with international implications. A particular focus of this law firm practice is on probate and estate matters in the state of Florida, but we also assist clients with regards to inheritance matters in many other US states. Via its European offices in Munich and London, we assist US heirs in German or British probate matters.

 

We encourage you to explore our websites – www.urbanthier.com (United States office) and www.urbanthier.de (German office) to learn more about Urban Thier & Federer, P.A., Urban Thier & Federer, Rechtsanwälte, and their attorneys and practice areas. Urban Thier & Federer, P.A.’s representation of buyers, includes litigation of cases in state court, federal court and arbitration proceedings. We encourage you to become informed of your rights and options. You should also ensure that any law firm you consult or retain to represent you has the experience, resources, and ability to take your case through trial and appellate courts, if necessary. Please note that Urban Thier & Federer, P.A. does not represent you and cannot take any action on your behalf unless and until you enter into a formal written Legal Representation Agreement. Christian T. Fahrig; Carl Christian Thier.

* This article and this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This information provided should not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney licensed or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. You should always consult a suitably qualified attorney regarding any specific legal problem or matter and not rely on the content of this article. Nothing on this site is intended to create an attorney-client relationship and nothing posted constitutes legal advice. We cannot guarantee that the information is accurate, complete or up-to-date.

CONTACT US:

https://www.urbanthier.com/terms-of-use

What is Probate?

A holographic will is a will that is written and signed entirely in the testator’s handwriting. Half of the United States and many European countries, including Germany, recognize holographic wills as valid. Some states also recognize foreign holographic wills. Despite challenges to the current status of Florida law, holographic will remain invalid in Florida at this time. Florida recognizes wills that have been executed correctly in other states and countries, but Florida does not recognize holographic wills, even if valid in another state or country. In 1966, The Florida Supreme Court upheld the validity of the statutes denying the recognition of holographic wills in the case In re Estate of Olson, 181 So. 2d 642 (Fla. 1966).

 

Recently, in 2013, a new challenge to the constitutionality of the statute regarding holographic wills arose in the case of Lee v. Estate of Payne, 2013 WL 5225200 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2013). In the Lee case, a nonresident decedent died leaving a holographic will devising real property in Florida as well as proceeds from the sale of real estate in Florida. This latest challenge to Florida law is based on an earlier Florida Supreme Court decision in Shriners Hospitals for Crippled Children v. Zrillic, 563 So. 2d 64 (Fla. 1990), where the court held that a different probate statute was unconstitutional because the law deprived the testator and the legatees of the right to receive, enjoy and dispose of property. The result in the Lee case was that Florida’s Second District Court of Appeals found that the statutes dealing with holographic wills were not unconstitutional.

 


Probate is the common term for the administration of the estate of a person who has died, also called a decedent. The estate is administered by a personal representative, who is also commonly known as an executor, executrix, administrator, or administratrix. Administration of an estate takes place in the state or country where the decedent lived. The process includes collecting all of the decedent’s property, paying the decedent’s debts, and distributing what remains to beneficiaries. A decedent is either considered testate or intestate. Testacy means that the person died with a valid will. Intestacy is when a person dies without a will or with a will that is invalid for some reason. In the probate of a testate estate, the intention is also probated or proved to be valid.

 


The administration includes the distribution of property according to the terms of the will. In many jurisdictions, there are two types of probate: Probate in Solemn Form, which is more formal; and Probate in Common Form, which has fewer formal legal requirements. In Florida, “Full Administration,” the “Solemn Form,” is the more formal version, while “Summary Administration,” the “Common Form,” exists for estates with fewer assets or after two years have passed since the date of the decedent’s death (F.S. s. 735.201). Florida also has a special provision for Disposition of Personal Property without Administration, which only applies in very limited circumstances. Florida law requires a personal representative to be represented by an attorney licensed to practice law in the state of Florida (Fla. Prob. R. 5.030). Another type of probate is the ancillary administration.

 

Ancillary administration is the administration of a decedent’s estate in a state or country other than where the decedent lived, to dispose of property the decedent owned there. Ancillary administration is conducted according to the type of administration that applies to the property. Urban Thier & Federer and its attorneys have been involved in many the United States, Germany, and United Kingdom probate and estate matters with international implications. A particular focus of this law firm practice is on probate and estate matters in the state of Florida, but we also assist clients with regards to inheritance matters in many other US states. Via its European offices in Munich and London, we assist US heirs in German or British probate matters.

 

We encourage you to explore our websites – www.urbanthier.com (United States office) and www.urbanthier.de (German office) to learn more about Urban Thier & Federer, P.A., Urban Thier & Federer, Rechtsanwälte, and their attorneys and practice areas. Urban Thier & Federer, P.A.’s representation of buyers, includes litigation of cases in state court, federal court and arbitration proceedings. We encourage you to become informed of your rights and options. You should also ensure that any law firm you consult or retain to represent you has the experience, resources, and ability to take your case through trial and appellate courts, if necessary. Please note that Urban Thier & Federer, P.A. does not represent you and cannot take any action on your behalf unless and until you enter into a formal written Legal Representation Agreement. Christian T. Fahrig; Carl Christian Thier.

* This article and this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This information provided should not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney licensed or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. You should always consult a suitably qualified attorney regarding any specific legal problem or matter and not rely on the content of this article. Nothing on this site is intended to create an attorney-client relationship and nothing posted constitutes legal advice. We cannot guarantee that the information is accurate, complete or up-to-date.

CONTACT US:

https://www.urbanthier.com/terms-of-use