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An Overview of Summary Administration in Florida Probate Court

An Overview of Summary Administration in Florida Probate Court

Summary administration is an option for administering an estate in Florida. It does not require the appointment of a personal representative to handle the administration process, and it typically takes less time, effort and money than formal administration, the most commonly-used estate administration process in the state.

To qualify for summary administration in Florida, an estate must meet either of the following requirements:

  • The decedent must have been dead for at least two years.
  • The value of the estate that is subject to administration, minus the value of the property exempt from creditor claims, must not be more than $75,000.

How does summary administration work?

Summary administration begins with an official petition filed in court, just as formal administration does. Any beneficiary or a named personal representative may file a petition for summary administration, but that petition must be signed and verified by a surviving spouse, if one exists.

The petition must provide information that demonstrates the estate is eligible for a summary administration. This information generally includes a list of all assets and the value of each, a full outline of all debts the estate owes, and an asset distribution plan.

The court analyzes this information closely. Once it rules the estate qualifies for summary administration, the court issues an order to distribute the assets. In this situation, no personal representative is required for the assets to be distributed to heirs.

Summary administration is not right for most estates, but when it is appropriate, it can be a useful and efficient process for the friends and family members of a deceased person. For further guidance on how this process works in Florida, contact a skilled Pensacola estate administration attorney with The Law Office of Zachary T. Magaha.

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