Summary Probate Administration with McGee Law

Probate is the legal process of executing someone’s will and settling their estate. During probate, the will is validated, the estate is valued, creditors file claims against the estate, and the decedent’s personal possessions are divided. There are several types of probate in Florida, all with unique qualifications. Some small estates may qualify for summary administration. Our estate planning attorneys in Palm Coast can help you determine which form is suitable for your loved one’s estate. 

What is Summary Administration? 

Summary administration is a simplified probate process for small estates with few assets or estates where creditors are barred from making claims. The summary administration guidelines and process can be found in Florida Statute 735.021. Summary administration takes less time and is generally less expensive than formal administration. Some other formalities that are present in formal administration aren’t required. However, the estate must meet specific requirements to qualify for summary administration. 

How Does an Estate Qualify for Summary Administration?

Only certain types of estates qualify for summary administration. For an estate to file for summary administration probate, one of the following statements must be true: 

  • The estate value (without exempt property) is less than $75,000
  • It’s been more than two years since the deceased person passed away.

How Summary Administration Works  in Florida 

Here’s how summary administration works, according to Florida Statute 745.206:

Will Validation

The first step of summary administration is for the will (if there is one) to be validated and admitted into the probate court to be executed. 

Petition 

Once you’ve performed a creditor search and made arrangements for payment for valid claims, and the estate meets the other requirements, you can petition the probate court for summary administration. A beneficiary or personal representative can file for summary administration at any point once you believe the estate qualifies. You’ll need to provide the probate court with documentation to prove that the estate qualifies for summary administration, such as the estate’s value from real property and financial accounts.

Creditor Search and Notification

Summary administration is best suited for estates with few creditor claims. Before petitioning for summary administration, you must show the court that you performed a diligent and reasonable creditor search for anyone who could make a claim against the estate to settle a debt. You’ll also need to notify potential creditors using the guidelines stated in Florida Statute 735.2063. Once you submit evidence this notice has been published, creditors may be forever barred from making claims against the estate. If any creditors are found, you’ll need to serve valid creditors with a copy of the petition and arrange to make payments to those creditors before summary administration is finalized. 

Asset Distribution

After the petition has been filed and creditors have been notified,  the court may allow immediate distribution of the assets in the estate as stated in the decedent’s will or according to Florida’s intestate laws (if there was no will).  

Estate Administration with McGee Law, PLLC

As the personal representative of someone’s estate, it’s essential to understand the probate options available to ensure a smooth process. We can help you with all forms of estate administration, such as summary, formal, intestate, and ancillary. If you’re a personal representative or managing someone’s estate on their behalf, our legal team at McGee Law can help you navigate the probate process. We help with estate planning needs throughout Palm Coast, Flager, and Volusia Counties. Schedule a consultation or contact us to get started.

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