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Exempt Property Under Florida Probate Code

April 23, 2021

The Florida Probate Code provides that a surviving spouse or child may have the right to receive a share of the estate free from creditors. This is better known as “exempt property” in the state of Florida, and found under Section 732.402, Florida Statutes.

Who is Qualified to Exempt Property?

If the deceased family member was a Florida resident, certain family members may be entitled to the exempt property. If the deceased family member was married at the time of death, the surviving spouse may be entitled to the exempt property. If the decedent was not married, the children of the decedent may be entitled to the exempt property.

What is Classified as Exempt Property Under the Florida Probate Code?

  • Household appliances and furniture valued at a total of $20,000 on the date of death (DoD) of the deceased
  • Two (2) Motor Vehicles that are registered in the descendant’s name, and were regularly used by the decedent or members of the family; The cars must be under 15,000lbs
  • Death benefits for teachers and school administrators that align with Florida Statute Laws

If the exempt property is left in a will to someone who would not be entitled to the exempt property, the property will be issued to that party as non-exempt property.

How is Exempt Property Claimed Under the Florida Probate Code?

Exempt property is claimed by filing a Petition to Determine Exempt Property with the court. It must be filed by the later of:

  • 4 months after the date of service of the Notice of Administration
  • 40 days after the date of termination of any proceeding involving the construction, admission to probate or the validity of the will

What are the Benefits of Exempt Property?

  • Exempt from Creditor Claims on the estate
  • Not included in the value of the estate before residuary, intestate, or pretermitted or elective shares are determined