Florida Probate Rules – How Have They Changed?


Florida probate rules changed last year on February 1, 2007. For anyone who is concerned with estate planning and probate, you should make it a priority to review the changes that have been made to the probate rules in Florida since last year.

There were amendments made to seventeen rule numbers, including:

Rule 5.040; Rule 5.041; Rule 5.095; Rule 5.200; Rule 5.210;
Rule 5.241; Rule 5.490; Rule 5.496; Rule 5.498; Rule 5.499;
Rule 5.530; Rule 5.560; Rule 5.645; Rule 5.650; Rule 5.680;
Rule 5.697; Rule 5.710


The majority of these changes were made with a shut out vote
by the Florida Probate Rules Committee, which is in charge of reviewing and changing the probate rules in Florida. There were only two rules that were not a shutout when the amendments were made. These two probate rules include Rule 5.095 and Rule 5.697.

Rule 5.095 was changed to a completely new rule which was modeled after the Florida R.Civ.P.1.490, which was to provide magistrates or guardianship in matters involving rule 5.697.

Interestingly enough, this rule, Rule 5.697, was the other rule that was not a shut out vote. In this rule there were changes made to parts (a) and (b) in which an inventory list of assets are to be assessed for review by the guardian or magistrate, which was appointed in the previous rule, Rule 5.095.

The advantage of having a probate court is so that assets can be distributed in accordance with Florida probate rules. The Florida law has three different types of administrations regarding probate court, which are the following:

  • Summary Administration,
  • Formal Administration, and
  • Family Administration

There is one other administration, formally known as a Florida probate administration, which is now the Disposition of Personal Property Without Administration.

The probate courts of Florida can settle various assets of the deceased such as funds in a bank account, life insurance, real estate property and any other asset that was possessed by the deceased.

Even though the probate courts and the Florida probate rules that guide them are excellent in principle, there are many people who wish to avoid the whole probate situation considering the costs and the difficulty of dealing with such refined rules. Therefore, many people are advised to plan their estate and create trusts to avoid probate court. Additionally, people can bypass this step during this difficult time and grieving period for the family.

If you have a deceased loved one whose assets must go through probate court, then you need an attorney who has experience with Florida probate rules. For more information on how we may be able to help you, please see our Probate & Trust Law Practice Area.

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