If a foreign individual passes away while owning real estate, personal property, or other assets in Florida, then they must go through the Florida ancillary probate process. This process is similar to that of formal administration.

One of the differences is that the Estate is first probated in the jurisdiction where the decedent lived, whether that be another state or another country. Once that probate has begun, the decedent’s will shall be probated in the county in which he held assets in the State of Florida. Depending on how many places the decedent held assets, multiple probate proceedings may be required.

A personal representative will be chosen for the Florida ancillary probate proceedings. This individual may or may not be the personal representative (administrator, executive) of the estate in the other jurisdictions where probate proceedings are occurring.

Taxation may be an important issue in Florida ancillary administration, as there is more than one probate proceeding occurring in multiple jurisdictions. It is important to consult a Florida probate attorney who specialized in Florida ancillary probate to ensure that your estate tax issues are being properly addressed. Here at Boyer Law Firm, P.L., we work with CPAs and other professionals to ensure that this is the case.

Who is a foreign national?

Anyone who was born outside the United States borders and has not been naturalized under federal law is considered a foreign national or a non US citizen.  Those people are subject to the laws of another country.

Aliens are subsequently categorized as either “resident” or “non-resident” in status.  Resident aliens are living legally in the U.S. and enjoy many of the same benefits that US  citizens enjoy.

How Do I Minimize the Financial Impact of Probate for Resident Aliens?

In order to minimize the financial impact of probate, it is extremely important for non-U.S. citizens owning property in the State of Florida to create a proper estate plan.    Properly structuring your estate can help in streamlining the probate process and with the costs and associated taxes when your estate moves into probate. We recommend that all resident aliens and foreign nationals who own property in Florida contact us to prepare your estate plan before your loved ones are left with the possibility of difficult probate procedures, laws and rules.

If you are left after the loss of a loved one and need assistance dealing with the laws for the State of Florida and the United States, let us help. At Boyer Law Firm we have handled many probate situations where we have had non-U.S. citizens and resident aliens involved.  With locations in Jacksonville, Miami and Orlando, we are ready to help


If you own assets in Florida and another state or country, then it is that much more important to ensure that you have a properly drafted estate plan. An estate plan in another country may not qualify under Florida law. In order to ensure that your estate plan is complete and properly drafted, it is important to consult a Florida probate attorney if you own assets in Florida.

non-resident alien or resident alien who dies while owning property in Florida will have to have their estate go through probate administration in Florida.  Both resident aliens and non-U.S. citizens will need to have their estate probated in the country where they lived, as well as in Florida, if they owned property within the borders of the State of Florida at the time of their death.

If the decedent had a Last Will and Testament, this may impact the assets held not only in Florida or the United States, but in the foreign nation(s) as well. It is important to have an experienced attorney who has dealt with these situations before to help you in your matter.