When a tax deed sale occurs in Florida, and a property is sold for more than what is owed in taxes, a surplus of funds remains available for the former owner to claim. However, this process becomes more complicated when that former owner has died leaving the heirs to inherit the tax deed surplus.
We recently represented a family who hired our firm to help them collect tax deed surplus funds in Marion County, Florida after they had been previously denied. Once retained, we sprang into action and discovered that the property had been owned by the client’s deceased mother and deceased step-father. A probate had already been administered for the stepfather, but no probate had been administered for the mother’s estate.
A closer look into the step-father’s probate revealed that a crucial step had not been taken to protect the homestead property from creditor claims. Thus, we had to re-open the step-father’s probate to protect the surplus funds from creditors, and we had to administer the mother’s estate.
After several weeks of clearing the surplus funds through probate, we successfully collected over $40,000.00 in total for this family. Although results may vary, and the actual amount collected depends on the facts of each specific case, it is so important to hire an attorney experienced in handling these types of issues because creditors in the step-father’s estate could have easily come forward to claim the surplus funds had we not re-opened the case and properly protected the funds from creditor claims.
If you ever find yourself in a similar position and need to collect tax deed surplus funds for a deceased relative, please do not hesitate to contact our office for a free consultation. We are happy to discuss the process and advise you of your rights.