When you die without a will and the property is controlled by the Florida Intestacy Statutes, meaning the property did not have a proper beneficiary designation, then the property will need to get probated.
Probate is a legal process in Florida that is supervised by the court. The main purpose of the Probate system is to satisfy any of your debts, pay taxes, and distribute your property to the rightful beneficiaries.
If you qualify for a summary administration, which is a simplified administration, the probate administration can take a couple of months. However, if you are required to do a formal administration, then the probate administration can take anywhere between 6 months to over a year in time. During this time your property subject to administration will be in the supervision of the court.
During a formal administration, a personal representative is appointed to administer your assets. Usually your spouse has a preference, if not a majority of beneficiaries can select a personal representative to act on behalf of the estate. The decision of who will act as a personal representative can sometimes be a contested matter.
Sadly, some members in a family do not trust each other or there is bad blood between them. Being appointed personal representative over another family member can sometimes be a big deal.
If you properly create a will, then you will be able to designate who you want to serve as a personal representative. You may select any person who is a resident of Florida who is 18 years old and physically and mentally capable of acting. Also, the personal representative cannot have any felonies. If they are not a resident of Florida, then they must be related to you by blood, like a son or daughter.