Probate Department

                                              

                                                                                                     


E-FILING

SC11-399, amended October 18, 2012, “requires that attorneys e-file documents in civil cases filed in Probate, Family, Circuit and County Civil, by April 1, 2013.”  

Please visit our website
at www.osceolaclerk.com to submit your documents via the Clerk’s E-Portal. If you are unable to submit your documentation using the E-portal, please return the documents to our office along with a hardship letter indicating the reason you were unable to do so.

Additionally, our office is not requiring the filing of original documents with the exception of the following:

  1. Original Last Will and Testament
  2. Original Codicils
  3. Separate Writings to the Will
  4. Oath of Witness to Will
  5. Proof of Will
  6. Bonds
  7. Commissions
  8. Authenticated or Exemplified  Copies
  9. Declaration Naming Pre-Need Guardian

 All unsigned orders and letters must be submitted via U.S. Mail, along with any copies you may need conformed and self-addressed, stamped envelopes for mailing. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our office at (407) 742-3506. 

The Clerk‘s Office is open 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.


                                                                                                      

General Information

Probate is the court procedure by which a will is proved to be valid or invalid; the legal process wherein the estate of a decedent is administered. The probate process involves collecting a decedent’s assets, liquidating liabilities, paying necessary taxes and distributing property to heirs.

What is a will? When and where should it be filed? 
    • A will is a document executed by a person which disposes of his/her property after his/her death. It generally names a Personal Representative to administer the estate. After the death of the person, the custodian of the will must deposit the will with the Clerk’s Office, within ten (10) days after receiving information that the person is deceased. The custodian should supply the person’s date of death or the person’s social security number to the Clerk upon deposit of the will, if this information is available.

 Do you need an attorney to deposit a will? 

    • No, an attorney is not necessary to deposit the will with the Clerk’s Office. However, you may want to consult with an attorney before filing so that he/she may determine whether probate proceedings will be necessary.

What are the different types of proceedings that can be filed depending on the size of the estate? 

    • Formal Administration
      This type of proceeding is used when it is necessary to appoint a personal representative to act on behalf of the estate because there are considerable assets or other special circumstances. The capacity in which the representative will act is determined by the court at the time of the appointment and letters of administration will be issued to the representative so that he/she may complete the administration of the estate.
    • Summary Administration
      Summary administration may be filed when the value of the entire estate does not exceed $75,000 or when the decedent has been dead for more than two years.
    • Disposition of Personal Property Without Administration
      The disposition is filed to request release of assets of the deceased to the person who paid the final expenses; such as funeral bills or medical bills for the last 60 days. This procedure may be accomplished with the filing of a petition. The form required to file the disposition is available from the Clerk’s Office in the Probate Department. This cannot include real property. The value of the decedent’s assets is less than $6,000.   
                     

What type of paperwork must accompany the form for filing a disposition of personal property without administration? 

    • The following must be provided:
    • If the decedent has a will, it must be filed with the Clerk of Circuit Court.
    • Itemized, paid funeral bill.
    • Paid receipts for any medical expenses incurred sixty (60) days prior to death.
    • Death Certificate.
    • Statement regarding the type of asset to be released.
    • Identification of the person filing.
    • Filing fee as set by Florida Statute.

What happens after this information is filed with the Clerk?
    • The court will enter an order either allowing or disallowing the release of the assets. A certified copy of the order is then mailed to the petitioner.

What happens if a person dies and has not left a will?
    • The property will be distributed in accordance with Florida Law.

What happens if there is a will filed but a personal representative has not been named?
    • It will be necessary for an attorney to petition the court to appoint a personal representative to administer the estate.

How are Probate proceedings initiated?
    • Probate proceedings are initiated with the filing of a Petition by an interested person asking to be appointed Personal Representative and/or distribute property depending on size and complexity of property. The Petition is prepared by an Attorney. The appointed person will be responsible for the Estate until all bills are paid and the balance of the Estate is distributed to the rightful beneficiaries.

Is there a requirement that the personal representative be represented by an attorney?
    • According to Rule 5.030 of the Florida Probate Rules, a personal representative must be represented by an attorney admitted to practice in Florida unless the personal representative remains the sole interested person. An “interested person” is any person who may reasonably be expected to be affected by the outcome of the proceeding. A personal representative who is an attorney admitted to practice in Florida may represent himself or herself.

 

 

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