What is an ancillary administration, and when is an ancillary administration necessary?

Ancillary or supplementary administration is usually necessary when the decedent [the person who died owning the property] dies owning property within the state of Florida, and a primary or domiciliary probate has been commenced in another state.  Since so many banks have merged, usually an ancillary administration is only necessary when the decedent died domiciled in another state owning real property or a closely held business within the state of Florida. The same is true if the decedent died in Florida owning property in another state.

Ancillary administration is commenced by filing a petition in the Florida circuit court, or for a decedent domiciled in Florida, in the state where the decedent’s property is located.  In Florida, the petition must be accompanied by authenticated [this means each copy must have a court seal from the court where the document was filed by the clerk of courts stating it is a certified or authenticated copy of the original] copies of the foreign will, the petition for probate and the order admitting the will to probate and appointing the personal representative. According to §734.104 “If no petition is required as a prerequisite to the probate of a will in the jurisdiction where the will of the nonresident was probated, upon proof by affidavit or certificate that no petition is required, an authenticated copy of the will may be admitted to record without an authenticated copy of a petition for probate, and the order admitting the will to record in this state shall recite that no petition was required in the jurisdiction of original probate.”   

If the petitioner has been nominated as the personal representative or executor [in Florida the term personal representative is used, but in many other states, the term executor is used instead] in the foreign state, then when the proper documents are filed, the foreign personal representative will be issued Florida Letters of Administration [“Letters” is simply a piece of paper that says "Letters of Administration" and also is signed by the judge and authenticated with the proper seal from the clerk of courts] after a bond, if required by the court, has been filed with the court. Once the foreign personal representative receives letters of administration, then the probate proceeds as any other Florida probate. 

There are abbreviated procedures available when the gross value of property in Florida is less than $50,000.00 or when the ancillary procedure is commenced more than two years after the date of the decedent’s death.  For further information, please contact Wills, Trusts and Estates Florida Bar Board Certified expert Linde Law Group today at 239.939.7100!

Matthew A. Linde
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