This process lets someone who paid for a decedent’s final expenses, from the funeral or from the last illness, to be reimbursed from the assets of the decedent’s estate. This process is only available if the decedent did not leave any real estate and the only assets in the estate are either exempt from creditor’s claims or do not exceed the total amount of the final expenses. Although this process avoids probate, it might be impractical in some cases. For example, this process can open the assets of decedent’s estate to the claims of creditors, can have less favorable tax benefits, and there is a risk of unintentionally disinheriting some children from one spouse but not of both spouses. Therefore, it is important to consult with a Florida probate lawyer to help you consider the variables in your case and make an informed decision.
To apply for this process and request reimbursement, you file a form called “Disposition of Personal Property Without Administration.” This form is available from the clerk of the court and on many Florida circuit courts’ websites. There’s a small filing fee; call ahead or check the court’s website to find out the exact cost. The following is a list of the things needed to file for this process and the procedure involved in it.
What You Need
- Petition of disposition without administration: Three pages and notarized.
- Certified death certificate.
- If decedent has a will, then the original will has to be filed with the verified statement unless previously filed.
- Copy of paid funeral bill.
- Copy of paperwork showing decedent’s assets, i.e. copy of stocks, bank statement, etc.
- Copy of last sixty days’ medical expenses with receipts.
- Consents of any additional heirs with address and notarized signature, or death certificate, if applicable.
- Statement regarding creditors.
- Filing fee (call ahead or check the circuit court’s website to find out the exact cost)
- An Affidavit stating that decedent was never married and did not have children may be required, if applicable.
When Filing the Petition
- Print the decedent’s name after the words “In Re:”
- Print your name, address, and all the required information.
- Check the correct box indicating that either there is no will or that you are filing one at this time.
- List beneficiaries (heirs) in descending order at item no. 3. If you run out of space, you may use the back of the form, but indicate in the front of the form that you have done so.
- When listing estate property in item no. 3, you must provide the mailing address as part of the description. Consult Florida Statutes section 732.402 for the definition of exempt property.
- Attach a copy of the paid funeral bill and the last sixty days medical expenses and receipts showing payment. If the asset(s) is needed to pay the bill, the order can reflect that the proceeds go directly to the funeral home.
- The forms may be sworn to before the deputy clerk or a notary public. After completing the forms, file all documents with the clerk along with the filing fee. All documents will be forwarded to the judge. A plain copy and a certified copy of the Order to Distribute or Transfer Assets will be provided to you. The certified copy is to be presented by you to the financial institution
CONTACT A FLORIDA PROBATE LAWYER
Disposition of personal property without administration does not apply when the asset consists of the decedent’s Income Tax return (see Florida Statutes section 735.302). Moreover, as discussed initially, some circumstances in your case might make disposition without administration impractical for your case. It is wise to contact a probate lawyer for assistance with this matter. For a Florida probate lawyer contact the Law Office of David M. Goldman PLLC at (904) 685-1200 or click the “Contact Us” tab at the beginning of the page.