What’s the Summary Administration Option in Florida?

What’s the Summary Administration Option in Florida?

In Florida, there are three main ways to settle an estate, one of which is summary administration. This method serves as a shortcut to the probate process for estates that meet either of the following criteria:

  • The death occurred at least two years ago.
  • The value of the estate to be probated, including all property that would have to go through probate, is less than $75,000.

Although this is not an option for most estates, it offers a simplified process for some that prevents them from being bogged down in unnecessary legal procedures.

How summary administration works

At the start of the process, the person who was nominated to be the personal representative of the estate or anyone who will inherit property from the estate files a Petition for Summary Administration. If there is a surviving spouse, he or she signs and verifies that petition. If there exists any beneficiary who does not sign the petition, you must then serve that person with a notice that the petition has been filed.

The petition must state that the estate qualifies for the summary administration process, and outline a list of the estate assets, their value and who will inherit each of them.

In such a case, the court will not appoint a personal representative for the estate. Rather, if the court finds the estate does qualify for the summary administration process, it will issue an order that releases the property to its heirs. This court order can be used by heirs to show a bank that they are, in fact, the rightful inheritor of account funds.

To learn more about Florida’s summary administration process, speak with an experienced Tampa estate planning lawyer at BaumannKangas Estate Law.