How to Handle an Inherited Broward County Property When There Is No Will

Inheriting a property in Florida can be a complicated and stressful process, especially if there is no will. A will is a legal document that specifies how a person wants their assets to be distributed after their death. Without a will, the state of Florida will decide who gets what according to the laws of intestacy. These laws may not reflect the wishes or the best interests of the deceased or the heirs.

If you have inherited a Florida property when there is no will, you may have to go through the probate court to clear the title and transfer the ownership. Probate is a legal process that verifies the validity of a will, identifies and appraises the assets of the estate, pays off any debts and taxes, and distributes the remaining assets to the beneficiaries. Probate can be time-consuming, costly, and public.

There are different types of probate in Florida, depending on the value and complexity of the estate. The most common ones are:

  • Disposition of Personal Property Without Administration: This is a simplified procedure that does not require formal probate. It can be used when the estate consists only of personal property (such as bank accounts, stocks, bonds, etc.) that does not exceed the amount of funeral expenses and medical bills. No property has to go through probate with this process. Instead, to request payment of what was left to you in the will or what you are entitled to by law, you file a form called “Disposition of Personal Property Without Administration,” which is available from the clerk of the court and on many Florida circuit courts’ websites1.
  • Summary Administration: This is a shortened form of probate that can be used when the value of the estate does not exceed $75,000 (excluding exempt property such as homestead) or when the decedent has been dead for more than two years. Summary administration requires less paperwork and court involvement than formal administration. To start summary administration, you file a petition with the court that lists the assets and debts of the estate, the names and addresses of the beneficiaries, and a plan for distribution. You also need to pay a filing fee and publish a notice to creditors in a local newspaper.
  • Formal Administration: This is the most common and complex type of probate in Florida. It is required when the value of the estate exceeds $75,000 (excluding exempt property such as homestead) or when there are disputes or complications among the heirs or creditors. Formal administration involves appointing a personal representative (also known as an executor or administrator) who is responsible for managing and distributing the estate under court supervision. The personal representative has to file various documents with the court, such as an inventory of assets, an accounting of income and expenses, a notice to creditors, and a final report. The personal representative also has to pay any taxes, fees, and debts owed by the estate before distributing the remaining assets to the beneficiaries.

1. Determine Your Ownership Status

The first step is to determine your ownership status of the inherited property. This will depend on the state laws where the property is located. Generally, if the deceased person was married, their spouse will inherit the property. If they were unmarried, the property will be divided among their children, parents, or siblings, depending on the state laws.

2. Get a Professional Appraisal

It’s important to get a professional appraisal of the property to determine its market value. This will help you understand the worth of the property and make informed decisions about what to do with it. You can hire a professional appraiser or get an estimate from a local real estate agent.

3. Decide What to Do with the Property

Once you know the value of the property, you can decide what to do with it. You can choose to keep it, sell it, or rent it out. If you decide to keep it, you will need to pay property taxes and maintenance costs. If you decide to sell it, you will need to hire a real estate agent and pay their commission fees. If you decide to rent it out, you will need to become a landlord and handle tenant issues. A third option is to sell the property directly to Junard, Inc, avoiding repairs, commissions, and wasted time.

4. Get Legal Help

To determine which type of probate applies to your situation, you may want to consult with an experienced Florida probate attorney who can advise you on your rights and obligations as an heir. An attorney can also help you navigate through the legal process and avoid any potential pitfalls or delays. It’s always a good idea to get legal help when dealing with inherited real estate. An attorney can help you navigate the legal process, especially if there are other heirs involved. They can help you understand your rights and responsibilities as an heir, and help you avoid any legal issues down the road.

5. Communicate with Other Heirs

If there are other heirs involved, it’s important to communicate with them and come to an agreement on what to do with the property. This can be a difficult conversation, but it’s necessary to avoid any conflicts down the road. You can hire a mediator to help facilitate the conversation and come to an agreement that works for everyone.

6. Pay Any Outstanding Debts

If the deceased person had any outstanding debts, such as a mortgage or property taxes, you will need to pay them off. This will ensure that you have clear ownership of the property and avoid any legal issues down the road.

7. Transfer Ownership

Once you’ve determined your ownership status, decided what to do with the property, and paid off any outstanding debts, you can transfer ownership of the property. This will involve filing paperwork with the county where the property is located. You will need to provide proof of ownership, such as a death certificate and any legal documents related to the inheritance.

Inheriting real estate can be a complicated process, especially if there isn’t a will in place. But by following these steps and getting professional help when needed, you can handle the situation smoothly and avoid any legal issues down the road. Remember to communicate with other heirs, pay off any outstanding debts, and get legal help if needed. With a little patience and planning, you can make the most of your inheritance by either holding on to it or choosing a fast sale to Junard, Inc. Reach out to us today to learn more about what we can offer you! (954) 464-7159

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