Summary Probate Administration
Summary administration in Florida is a shortened form of probate. Summary administration doesn’t require appointing a Florida personal representative and another benefit is that it requires much less time, effort, and expense than a formal administration. However, there are limited qualifications that will allow the use of summary administration.
In Florida, there are two ways in which an estate can qualify for summary administration to be available:
- The decedent must have passed more than two years, or
- The value of the entire estate subject to administration in Florida, less the value of property exempt from the claims of creditors, must not exceed $75,000.
**If the decedent had a last will and testament that specifically directs formal probate, summary administration is unavailable even if the estate meets one or both of these requirements..
The way summary administration works is similar to a formal administration. They both begin by filing a petition in court. Once the court receives the petition and is satisfied that the estate qualifies, the court issues an order distributing the assets. The difference between a formal administration and Summary is that a personal representative is not appointed.
An attorney may help you determine the best course of action if you’re dealing with an estate that may be complex. If heirs cannot be located, the estate has multiple creditors, if you think a will contest is possible or if the estate is insolvent, consulting with an attorney will be the first step in simplifying and better understanding your problems.
Assets of the estate are immediately distributed to beneficiaries and creditors upon entry of the summary administration order.