Disposition of Personal Property Without Administration in Florida
If a decedent dies with assets of minimal value, his/her estate might qualify for a small informal probate process in Florida called Disposition Without Administration which is designed to be quick and inexpensive. Disposition Without Administration is used to request the release of assets of the deceased to the person who paid funeral and/or final medical bills. If the transfer is being requested to a person who has not paid final expenses, consents allowing such a transfer must be completed to enable the transfer. The process is codified in Florida Statute §735.301.
Florida Statute 735.301
There are strict requirements for qualification under this statute. Disposition without Administration cannot be utilized to transfer real property. If any real property is involved, summary administration or formal administration is the alternative processes which must be used. If the property to be transferred is not an exempt asset described below, the reasonable value of the personal property must not exceed final expenses such as medical bills and funeral expenses. The person seeking the transfer must have actually paid these final expenses. Therefore, pre-paid funeral expenses and medical bills paid by insurance do not qualify. As part of the process, you will be required to attach receipts as proof for any payments which were made.
Assets which are exempt include:
- $20,000.00 of household furniture, furnishings, and appliances;
- Two motor vehicles used as the decedent’s personal motor vehicles; and
- Any qualify tuition programs under Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code.
Since the likelihood is that the assets to be transferred are of minimal value, the process is designed so that an individual may fill out these forms without the assistance of an attorney. Certainly, an attorney could provide assistance (for a price), however, it is not necessary. Forms that can be utilized can be found at the various county courthouses and the filing fees to file such an action are minimal. Should you have any questions about this process, or any other probate matters, please feel free to contact our office for a free consult.