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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.

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What is Probate?

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 will 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 2 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 ancillary administration. Ancillary administration is the administration of a decedent’s estate in a state or country other than where the decedent lived, for the purpose of disposing of property the decedent owned there. Ancillary administration is conducted according to the type of administration that applies to the property. For more information on ancillary administration, see hyperlink to Ancillary Probate in Florida article.

Urban Thier & Federer and its attorneys have been involved in many 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

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