A Look into Florida Probate for Resident Aliens

Irrespective of the location of a person or his immigration status, he can legally own property in the state of Florida. If he is the owner of a property in Florida at his time of death, it is a prerequisite that the property needs to go through Probate.

Therefore, you cannot underestimate the importance of estate planning for those resident aliens who own property in Florida.

In case the resident alien dies while being the owner of properties and assets in the state of Florida, it is a prerequisite that the individual needs to opt for probate administration in terms of passing down the state to beneficiaries. A will affects the assets in Florida, as well as in other foreign nations.

Who are Resident Aliens?

If a person is born outside the borders of the United States of America, he is recognized to be a non-US citizen or foreign national.

Such individuals are often subject to the laws of the United States, as well as their country of origin. This complicates things when he has amassed a large amount of wealth as a foreign non-citizen.

Foreign “aliens” have either nonresident or resident status.

They are known to have a Permanent resident card or green card, indicating that they have been living in America for almost 184 days in three years time.

They may reside in the United States legally and are capable of enjoying a wide array of benefits. Although they receive the same benefits of natural-born citizens while living, the process after death can be brutal without preparation.

Resident Aliens & Estate Planning

Deceased resident aliens must have their estate opened in the country of their former residence, and in the state of Florida. This is usually the best way to legally keep assets in the family. In case they own any property in Florida, estate planning and probate are crucial steps to take before disbursement of the assets of the estate.

For having an in-depth understanding of how the probate affects the estate, it is useful to know a bit of US immigration law. These individuals are regarded as aliens in Florida state and Federal law codebooks.

The probates for the alien residents involve the combination of international, federal, and state laws and can get very complex, very fast. Special planning and preparation for reducing the financial burden on the estate will save your heirs time and money.

Further, when it comes to preserving the wealth to the complete extent of the law, the expertise of probate attorney is absolutely necessary. Additionally, it’s beneficial to hire someone who has experience with international tax laws as well.

Probate of Florida Real Estate Property

Probating the assets of the owner, who died, happens to be a complicated and tricky process. The larger the estate, the more complex the process becomes.

It can also become more complex if there is involvement of more than one legal system. For instance, in case the person was born in Jamaica, lived in Colorado for some time, and retired in Florida – the probate can be complicated. Especially if the person had a large estate.

As the owner of properties in both Florida and Colorado, a complicated situation might arise where probate is necessary for both states. Additionally, any property owned in Jamaica may also be subject to probate in Jamaica.

In such conditions, the ascendant might face different kinds of challenging taxation problems.

They might require dealing with the results of inconsistent probate laws in various jurisdictions. The person may also require starting probate proceedings in two jurisdictions, or more simultaneously.

State & Federal Probate

A seasoned attorney has an ample amount of experience in dealing with such cases. They understand the different steps to legally administer the estate. There are many steps involved in the process of Florida probate for resident aliens. Those steps may extend to making payment to creditors, settling/negotiating debts, and submitting petitions to the court.

They also will know how to properly notify the parties who are involved which include creditors, and beneficiaries. This process will simplify the identification of different assets of the estate, and where they fall into probate & taxation. Besides that, your attorney can collect the prerequisite payments owed to the state. They may even be able to pay fees on your behalf related to the distribution of the estate property.

Rights During Probate

The process of Florida probate for resident aliens is definitely a public affair.

Records of the court remain open to the beneficiaries and public so that anyone can obtain access to court documents. They’ll also have full knowledge of the size of the estate and can submit any contests at will.

Types of Probate in Florida

There are different types of probates in the state of Florida. These include: Ancillary, Intestate, Testate, Summary Administration, and Formal Administration.

The Ancillary is the probate when a decedent who is a resident of another state has assets in Florida. These might include a summer home or business in Florida. 

The intestate refers to the probate in the case a person dies without any sort of will.

The Summary administration is the probate of the estates in Florida with a small number of assets.

The Formal administration happens to be the probate of estates in Florida, with a large number of assets.

Out-of-State indicates the probate of estates where personal representatives, beneficiaries, and heirs reside in another state.

Tips to Reduce the Financial Burden of Probate

For reducing the financial burden of probate, it is a prerequisite to have a legal estate plan. For the non-US citizens who are the owners of property in Florida, this is especially important. Doing this beforehand will save your family the stress of messy, years-long probate.

Structuring the estate properly plays a vital role in streamlining the process of probate.

It also reduces the associated taxes, the cost of hiring a probate attorney, and the time spent filing paperwork as the estate moves in the probate.

It is necessary that every resident alien who is the owner of a property in Florida make preparations early. This makes it so that their family does not encounter any hassles regarding debts, or the rules, laws, and processes of probate.

The United States of America has altered several guidelines and regulations when it comes to the double taxation of an estate owned by a resident alien.

If you follow these procedures correctly, the probate process for a resident alien is similar to normal probate.

These regulations also prevent taxation, depending on the total amount of the asset value.

You may end up paying more than necessary if you don’t have a knowledgable attorney you can count on.

Foreign & Domestic Laws

Additionally, probating the estate of the resident alien helps ensure that the requirements of both foreign and domestic laws are met. This will prevent creditors from chasing down your heirs years later and trying to steal the rest of your estate.

There are few foreign countries which preserve the right for taxing natural-born citizens, whether they are US resident aliens or not.

It’s also important to research taxation laws before death to avoid scenarios where the majority of your estate goes to various governments.

Probate litigation revolves around will validation, as well as the type of circumstances that lead to the creation of a will.

Will contests, exploitation of the elderly, and abuse of power of attorney are common. Especially when it comes to larger estates. It seems that extended family, old friends, and caretakers all feel they deserve a piece of the pie when someone dies.

This makes the estate planning process even more crucial.

The Benefits of Estate Planning for Resident Aliens

Imagine giving your children a wonderful inheritance, and them having to battle against creditors, state & federal courts, greedy relatives, and other nefarious characters while grieving your death.

It’s a traumatic process that can be easily avoided with proper preparation.

There is a short deadline during which it is possible to contest the will of a decedent. If you find any sort of inappropriate dealings regarding the estate, it’s crucial that you know what to do next.

Family members have twenty days after the person’s death to file an objection.

If you have faced the loss of a loved one and are looking for assistance within the state of Florida, contact us. It is essential to seek expert guidance without any delay. This is especially true for resident aliens.