Formal Administration may be required where the estate does not meet the Summary Administration requirements, or preferred where getting information on an asset or dealing with a creditor requires the nomination of a personal representative (sometimes referred to as an executor in other states). It is also necessary to continue or bring suit against another individual or entity on behalf of the deceased, such as in a personal injury case, wrongful death action or undue influence case, to name a few.
Formal Administration has more filing requirements and lasts much longer than a Summary Administration. Formal Administration, no matter what venue it is filed in the state of Florida, requires the petitioner to have an attorney of record, unless the Petitioner is the sole heir; however, a Court may request that a sole heir petitioner hire an attorney if that sole heir is not meeting the requirements of the administration process. The cost of Formal administration can vary from firm to firm. Statutorily, there is a defined reasonable fee for the ordinary services (the administrative part of the probate process) of Formal Administration based on a percentage of the value of the assets, where extraordinary services (services that go beyond the basic administrative process, some of which are defined by statute and some of which are defined by the attorney who you hire) are typically charged at an hourly rate usually agreed to by the client and the attorney up front. Although the statute lays out what is presumed to be a reasonable fee, the client may agree to a different percentage.
The person who serves as personal representative of an estate is also allowed a fee that is equal to 3% of the value of the probatable assets. And like the attorney, may charge a reasonable hourly rate for extraordinary services.
The attorneys at All Life Legal have the experience in probate to effectively guide you through the Formal Administration process.