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The Florida probate process can be taxing. In some circumstances, the law allows for a summary probate administration process that is typically less complicated, less time consuming and less expensive than the formal probate process. Not every estate, however, qualifies for summary administration.
There are two conditions under which a Florida estate may qualify for summary probate administration:
Even if one of these conditions is met, formal probate will still be required if the decedent left a will requiring the formal process.
Although the two circumstances allowing for the summary probate process appear straightforward, determining whether an estate qualifies is a bit more complicated. For example, the $75,000 cap on the value of the estate excludes certain property, such as homestead property and other property that is exempt from attachment by creditors.
An experienced estate lawyer can be your best resource for determining which approach to probate is appropriate.
Like formal probate, summary probate administration is commenced through the filing of a petition. The petition may be filed by any beneficiary, or by a personal representative named in the deceased’s will. If the deceased was married, however, the surviving spouse must sign and verify the petition.
The petition must show:
If the deceased passed away more than two years prior to the filing of the petition, any remaining creditor claims will be extinguished. Thus, in that circumstance, no due diligence is required to determine outstanding liabilities. If, however, the deceased has passed away more recently, the petitioner is required to make a diligent effort to identify creditors, serve them with a copy of the petition, and then make arrangement for payment of the debt if estate assets allow.
Summary administration is simpler and more straightforward than the formal probate process, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy or intuitive. Even determining whether an estate may be managed through the summary process can be complicated. An experienced Florida probate attorney can help you move the estate forward with confidence.
Our attorneys can help you:
Just fill out the form at the bottom of this page or call 386-320-6169 to schedule a consultation.
Probate is the court supervised process in which a deceased person’s assets are transferred to the beneficiaries listed in his or her will.READ MORE