I am under contract to purchase real estate which is located in Lee County, Florida. The seller of said real estate is an estate of a man who passed away in the State of New Mexico. The estate was apparently ‘probated’ in New Mexico. So, the title company is telling me that I need to hire a lawyer and open a Florida Estate. There are two Co-Personal Representatives of the New Mexico Estate. They both will cooperate with opening a Florida Estate if necessary and getting the deal done. The purchase price of the subject real estate is only $1000.00. So, my questions are; What is the cheapest way to take clear title to this property? Is there an alternative route to formally opening a new estate in Lee County, Florida where the property is located?
ANSWER BY MARGARET CROSS-BELIVEAU:
I hope that they cooperate as it is their responsibility to probate the assets. The title company is correct that an ancillary probate must be opened in Florida. The New Mexico probate only covered assets under the jurisdiction of New Mexico. They don’t have the authority to sell unless it is opened.
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Legal Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on since each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. A lawyer experienced in the subject area and licensed to practice in the jurisdiction should be consulted for legal advice.
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The estate administration attorneys at the Beliveau Law Group provide legal services for probate, estate administration, and trust administration. The law firm has offices and attorneys in Naples, Florida; Waltham, Massachusetts; and Salem, New Hampshire.