Florida Probate Statute 735.202: May Be Administered in the Same Manner as Other Estates
“Administration” is the term that is used to describe the process of collecting and managing the estate of a decedent, paying any debts and taxes owed by the estate, and distributing the remaining property to the beneficiary’s heirs or beneficiaries. There is more than one type of administration. There is formal administration which can be a fairly complicated process that involves the appointment of a personal representative. On the other hand, summary administration is a much less complex process that takes a relatively short period of time and that does not require the appointment of a personal representative. The type of administration for which an estate is eligible is based on the value of the assets in the estate. To learn more about the administration process, including the requirements of Florida Statutes, section 735.202- May be administered in the same manner as other estates, contact a skilled Fort Lauderdale estate administration lawyer at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates. We have the experience, skill, and knowledge to represent clients on a wide range of matters related to estate administration.Types of Administration
Under Florida law, there are two types of estate administration: formal and summary.
Formal administration. Formal administration requires the appointment of a personal representative. There are several steps involved, with the entire process typically extending up to a year. After the personal representative is appointed by the probate court, one of the first things that he (or she) must do is identify the assets that are part of the decedent’s probate estate. He must inventory the assets and determine their value so that it is clear how much is available in the probate estate to pay debt and make distributions.
The next step in formal administration is addressing estate debt. The personal representative is required to notify creditors either through personal service or through publication. Creditors must file claims against the estate within the claims period. The personal representative is required to pay valid debt as long as there are assets in the estate do so. The personal representative is also required to pay the expenses associated with the administration of the estate as well as taxes owed, if any.
Once debt and expenses are paid, the personal representative can petition the court for discharge and file a final accounting. The petition for discharge will include a plan for distributing any assets that remain in the estate.
As an experienced Fort Lauderdale estate administration lawyer will explain, formal administration is required for estates where the value of the assets exceed $75,000, or where the decedent’s will requires formal administration.
Summary administration. Where the value of the estate does not exceed $75,000, or where the decedent has been deceased for more than 2 years, summary administration is permissible. Summary administration is a faster and less complex alternative to formal administration. To initiate summary administration a petitioner files a summary administration affidavit with the probate court. Since summary administration does not involve a personal representative, the petitioner can be any interested party such as a beneficiary or heir.
The petitioner is required to make a reasonable effort to identify creditors of the estate and notify them. Just like in formal administration, valid claims must be paid out of estate assets. The exception to this rule is where the decedent has been deceased for over 2 years. Claims that are older than 2 years are barred under Florida law. This means that if the petition for summary administration is filed after the decedent has been dead for 2 years, no creditor notification is necessary. To learn more about the creditor notification requirement and debt payment under the rules of summary administration, contact an experienced estate administration attorney in Fort Lauderdale.
It is important to understand that summary administration is not required simply because an estate has a value of less $75,000 or less. According to FL. Stat, section 735.202- May be administered in the same manner as other estates, a small estate may be administered in the same manner as the administration of any other estate, or it may be administered pursuant to the summary administration rules.Related Statutory Provisions
- Summary administration; nature of proceedings: § 735.201, 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.
The estate may be administered in the same manner as the administration of any other estate, or it may be administered as provided in this part.Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates
To learn more about the process required to settle an estate, 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 individuals, personal representatives, and other interested parties in all aspects of estate administration, and understand the requirements of Florida Statutes, section 735.202- May be administered in the same manner as other estates. We can help with the petition process for either formal administration or summary administration as well as with any issues that develop during the estate administration process. Contact us attorneys at 561-710-4000 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case.