Florida welcomes many people every year who choose to live here part of the year or who decide to buy investment properties like condos, townhouses, or time shares here in the Sunshine State. There are a great many property owners in Florida who are not full time residents of the State of Florida. When these people pass away, then their Florida property must be dealt with in probate proceedings just as the property that they own at home, whether that is another state or a foreign country, must be finalized under the law of that jurisdiction.
When someone who is a non-resident of Florida dies, the assets that he or she owned here in Florida immediately become owned by his or her Florida estate pursuant to Chapter 734 of the Florida Probate Code. This will require an ancillary administration to be opened in the Florida probate courts to legally pass those Florida properties to the beneficiaries, just as the main probate administration in the decedent’s home state or country disposes of the assets held in that location.
(1) If a nonresident of this state dies leaving assets in this state, credits due from residents in this state, or liens on property in this state, a personal representative specifically designated in the decedent’s will to administer the Florida property shall be entitled to have ancillary letters issued, if qualified to act in Florida. Otherwise, the foreign personal representative of the decedent’s estate shall be entitled to have letters issued, if qualified to act in Florida. If the foreign personal representative is not qualified to act in Florida and the will names an alternate or successor who is qualified to act in Florida, the alternate or successor shall be entitled to have letters issued. Otherwise, those entitled to a majority interest of the Florida property may have letters issued to a personal representative selected by them who is qualified to act in Florida. If the decedent dies intestate and the foreign personal representative is not qualified to act in Florida, the order of preference for appointment of a personal representative as prescribed in this code shall apply. If ancillary letters are applied for by other than the domiciliary personal representative, prior notice shall be given to any domiciliary personal representative.
(2) Ancillary administration shall be commenced as provided by the Florida Probate Rules.
(3) If the will and any codicils are executed as required by the code, they shall be admitted to probate.
(4) The ancillary personal representative shall give bond as do personal representatives generally. All proceedings for appointment and administration of the estate shall be as similar to those in original administrations as possible.
(5) Unless creditors’ claims are otherwise barred by s. 733.710, the ancillary personal representative shall cause a notice to creditors to be served and published according to the requirements of chapter 733. Claims not filed in accordance with chapter 733 shall be barred as provided in s. 733.702.
(6) After the payment of all expenses of administration and claims against the estate, the court may order the remaining property held by the ancillary personal representative transferred to the foreign personal representative or distributed to the beneficiaries.
(7) Ancillary personal representatives shall have the same rights, powers, and authority as other personal representatives in Florida to manage and settle estates; to sell, lease, or mortgage local property; and to raise funds for the payment of debts, claims, and devises in the domiciliary jurisdiction. No property shall be sold, leased, or mortgaged to pay a debt or claim that is barred by any statute of limitation or of nonclaim of this state.
History.—s. 1, ch. 74-106; s. 98, ch. 75-220; s. 43, ch. 77-87; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 1029, ch. 97-102; s. 171, ch. 2001-226.
Note.—Created from former s. 734.31.
Fort Lauderdale Probate Lawyer For Ancillary Administrations
As a Florida probate attorney practicing probate law in Fort Lauderdale and its surrounding communities for over 20 years, Fort Lauderdale probate lawyer Larry Tolchinsky has worked with beneficiaries and executors of estates in both other states and other countries who have estate property in the State of Florida that needs to be probated in Florida courts in order to conclude the estate and distribute the decedent’s property according to his or her wishes in the Last Will and Testament.
As an experienced Florida probate lawyer, Larry Tolchinsky works with the out of state estate representatives to draft, file, and finalize the ancillary probate administration before the local Florida probate court.
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