Florida Probate Statute 735.201: Summary Administration; Nature of Proceedings
In Florida, when someone passes away, the affairs of that person must be settled, and his (or her) probate property must be distributed to others based on the terms of his will. This process is called estate administration. There are two types of estate administration: formal administration and summary administration. Formal administration is typically reserved for estates with values over $75,000. Summary administration is available for smaller estates. It is less complicated and quicker. To learn more about the steps in the estate administration process for small estates, including the rules of Florida Statutes, section 735.201- Summary administration; nature of proceedings, contact a skilled Fort Lauderdale estate administration lawyer at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates. We have over 20 years of experience representing clients in matters related estate administration and have the skills and resources to help with both formal administration and summary administration.Summary Administration
Under FL. Stat, section 735.201- Summary administration; nature of proceedings, estates that qualify for summary administration include where the decedent has been dead for at least two years or the value of the estate is not more than $75,000. The $75,000 requirement is exclusive of the value of the residential home, if any. If, however, the decedent had a will and the will required formal probate, even if the estate is small, the estate will not qualify for summary administration.Petition for Summary Administration
Summary administration is initiated by the filing of a petition with the probate court. It may be filed by any beneficiary or by a person that the decedent named as a personal representative in his or her will. The petition must include the following information:
- Petitioner’s statement of interest, name and address
- Decedent’s last known address
- Decedent’s date of death, along with the and county and state decedent was domiciled at death
- Name and address of the decedent’s surviving spouse, if any, and the names of the beneficiaries and their relationship to the decedent,
- Statement that decedent’s will, if any, does not direct formal administration as required
- Statement that the value of the assets meets the requirements of summary administration and that the claims of creditors, does not exceed $75,000.00 or that the decedent has been dead for over 2 years. For more information about which assets must be included in determining the value of the estate, contact an experienced Fort Lauderdale estate administration lawyer
- Statement that the petitioner is unaware of any unrevoked wills and codicils of decedent
- Schedule of proposed distribution of all probate assets
Once the court receives the petition for summary administration, it will review it to ensure that the estate qualifies. As an experienced estate administration attorney in Fort Lauderdale will explain, no personal representative is appointed in summary administration. However, creditor’s claims must be addressed. If the decedent has been dead for over 2 years, they are not an issue because under Florida law claims that are not brought within 2 years of a decedent’s death are barred. If the decedent has not been dead for 2 years, creditor claims must be paid or disposed of in some other way prior to an order of summary administration being issued. Because there is no personal representative, it is up to the petitioner to make a diligent search and reasonable inquiry for creditors, to serve a copy of the petition on those creditors, and make provision for payment of valid claims to the extent that assets are available. Summary distribution ends with the court issuing an order distributing the assets.Related Statutory Provisions
- May be administered in the same manner as other estates: § 735.202, Fla. Stat.
- Petition for summary administration: § 735.203, Fla. Stat.
- Filing of petition: § 735.2055, Fla. Stat.
- Summary administration distribution: § 735.206, Fla. Stat.
- Notice to creditors: § 735.2063, Fla. Stat.
Summary administration may be had in the administration of either a resident or nonresident decedent’s estate, when it appears:
- In a testate estate, that the decedent’s will does not direct administration as required by chapter 733.
- That the value of the entire estate subject to administration in this state, less the value of property exempt from the claims of creditors, does not exceed $75,000 or that the decedent has been dead for more than 2 years.
To learn more about the administration option for small estates, contact an experienced estate administration attorney serving Fort Lauderdale. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have years of experience working closely with clients in all aspects of estate administration, and understand the requirements of Florida Statutes, section 735.201- Summary administration; nature of proceedings. We can help. Contact us attorneys at 561-710-4000 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case.