Simple probate: Summary administration

On Behalf of | Dec 21, 2021 | Probate & Estate Administration

Probate administration is fairly straightforward in most cases. It’s a legal process that allows you to transfer property out of a deceased person’s estate and to pass it on to those entitled to an inheritance.

Probate is also known as estate administration in Florida. This process is needed whether a person does or does not have a will. If a valid will is present, the judge of the probate court needs to admit the will and find that it is valid. Once they do this, the property is transferred in accordance with the will’s instructions.

There are two kinds of probate in Florida:

  • Summary administration
  • Formal administration

Summary administration is the simpler process.

When do you use summary administration?

Summary administration is used when an estate is smaller and contains less than $75,000 of nonexempt assets. It may also be used when the decedent passed away at least two years ago.

Exempt property isn’t counted when determining if summary administration is acceptable. Exempt assets might include homesteads or vehicles, bank accounts or other assets, depending on the case.

Why would you want to use summary administration?

Summary administration isn’t as complicated as formal administration. It costs less and usually is a faster process.

Will creditors have a claim to the estate in a summary administration case?

Technically, when a person dies, creditors to have an opportunity to claim against the estate. If the decedent passed away more than two years ago, then creditors will be stopped from making a claim due to the nonclaim provision.

If they haven’t been dead for at least two years, then creditors will have a right to make a claim. You won’t be able to have the summary administration process started until after creditor claims are dealt with. If you are the petitioner, then you will need to make a search and inquire to find out if there are creditors who may have a claim. If none come forward, then you may be able to move forward without further creditors being able to make a claim against the estate. This is something that you should keep in mind since this is an additional process to handle prior to starting summary administration.