Summary administration is a type of Florida probate that speeds up an estate’s closing when more supervision of how the estate is administrated becomes unnecessary. It can be used for estates in which a valid will exists. However, it can also be used if a person dies intestate. With summary administration, there is no mandate that a personal representative be appointed for Florida probate. Generally, summary administration demands less expense, effort, and time than formal administration does, so it’s a beneficial path for many people. If you have questions about whether summary administration may be the right thing in your case, you can consult the seasoned Ocala probate attorneys of the Dean Firm.Which Estates are Eligible for Summary Administration?
An estate is only eligible for summary administration in Florida when: (1) the decedent has been dead for more than 2 years, or (2) the value of the whole estate subject to Florida administration minus the property value exempt from creditors’ claims is not more than $75,000. Summary administration begins with the filing of a petition in court by a beneficiary or anybody nominated by the decedent’s will. A person administering an estate can file a motion for summary administration to close an estate not less than 6 months after being appointed as executor or administrator of the estate.
The petition for summary administration needs to include particular facts that show that the estate is qualified for summary administration, as well as an assets list, information about the estate’s debt, and a plan for distributing estate assets. After the court gets the petition and is satisfied that the estate is eligible, it can make an order distributing assets. A personal representative won’t be appointed in the case of summary administration, and so the estate’s assets are subject to immediate distribution once there’s an entry of order admitting the estate to probate.
After a petition and other documents required under statute are filed, along with an inventory, an administrator or executor can file a motion for summary administration form to remove the requirement of filing a final account and receipts for the balance of the estate. All the particular legatees and anyone who is beneficially interested needs to file receipts or assents with the motion. The assents need to state that the person agrees that more judicial supervision of the administration of the estate isn’t needed and no final accounting is requested. A knowledgeable probate lawyer can help you through the process of submitting all of the required filings.Creditors
Creditor claims aren’t an issue when the decedent has been dead for more than two years because creditor claims need to be pursued within 2 years of the decedent’s death. However, when the decedent has been dead less than 2 years, the court will need to address these claims. A petitioner will need to make a diligent search and reasonable inquiry for creditors that are known or reasonably ascertainable, and serve a petition on the creditors and try to figure out how to get those creditors paid.
If an estate is eligible for summary administration because of how much it’s worth, the person petitioning for summary administration, whether that’s a spouse or a different family member, needs to make a good faith effort to find those creditors the decedent might have had. The petitioner should give creditors a copy of the petition for summary administration and should advise creditors about how they can make claims against the estate for payment, to the extent that this payment is possible.Retain a Seasoned Probate Attorney in Ocala
For many estates, summary administration is an appropriate and less expensive choice than going through ordinary probate. If you are concerned about summary administration in Ocala, you can discuss your circumstances and the estate at issue with a dedicated probate lawyer. Michael E. Dean and Timothy S. Dean of the Dean Law Firm have decades of combined experience representing clients in probate. Call us at (352) 387-8700 to set up a free consultation or contact us online.