But in Florida a will must go through the probate process, a lengthy and expensive court procedure in which a judge determines that your will is valid and supervises the distribution of your property. In most Florida counties including Duval, Clay, and St. Johns it can take 6 to 18 months and cost up to 3% of your non exempt portion of your estate. There can be additional fees for dealing with non-probate assets (that includes your Florida Homestead when you die, even if the bank really owns it).
If you have a house worth $300,000 and $200,000 worth of other assets, probate costs could be close to $7,000 and could easily be even higher. An estate of 500,000 could be looking at fees around $15,000. You can avoid probate costs by establishing a Florida Living Trust, Make sure you use a Florida living trust attorney to ensure that you comply Florida laws and regulations.