This probate shortcut can be used by many Florida estates. It’s an option if either:
- the death occurred more than two years ago, OR
- the value of the probate estate—that’s all the property that would have to go through probate, so
- it excludes the nonprobate assets
- described above—is not more than $75,000.
To start this process, the person who was nominated in the will to be executor, or anyone who
inherits property, files a document called a Petition for Summary Administration.
The surviving spouse, if any, must sign and verify the petition. If any beneficiary
doesn’t sign the petition, you must formally deliver (serve) that person with notice that you have filed the petition. (Fla. Stat. 735.201.)
In the petition, you state that the estate qualifies for summary administration, list the deceased person’s assets and their value, and state who inherits which assets.
The court doesn’t appoint a personal representative (executor or administrator) for the estate. Instead, the court, if it determines that the estate qualifies for summary administration, issues an
order, releasing the property to the people who inherit it. You might use this court order to show a bank, for example, that you are the rightful inheritor of the funds in an account it holds.
There are still protections for possible creditors and special pleadings that must be filed for exempt property with a summary administration. Also, you still must have an attorney for a
summary administration. Still, if the estate does not have significant property, you may be able to have an experienced probate attorney handle your case for a relatively small amount of money.
The Adams Law Firm, P.A. routinely handles summary administrations. Our turn around time between filing a Petition for Summary Administration and receiving the necessary orders conveying
property are often only several weeks. We have attorneys ready to meet with you who can file these pleadings quickly when time is of the essence.