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Florida Probate Statute 735.2055: Filing of Petition

Summary administration is a procedure in Florida during which the estate of a decedent is settled and estate assets are distributed to according to the terms of the will or according to Florida’s intestate succession statute. In contrast to formal administration, summary administration takes less than half the time and is significantly less complex. However, not every estate qualifies for summary administration. To learn more about summary administration and how to initiate it, including the rules of Florida Statutes, section 735.2055- Filing of petition, contact a skilled Fort Lauderdale estate administration lawyer at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates. We have the experience, skill, and knowledge to make sure the legal requirements are followed and that your interests are protected during the process.

Eligibility for Summary Administration

In order to be eligible for summary administration, the decedent must have been dead for at least 2 years. Or, the value of the estate must not exceed $75,000. If the decedent left a will, the will must not include directions for formal administration as described in chapter 733 of the Florida Probate Code. Even if an estate is eligible for summary administration, it is not required.

Filing the Petition

Summary administration begins with filing a petition with the probate court that has jurisdiction over the estate. While it may be clear from the beginning that the estate qualified for summary administration, there are instances in which the decision to use the summary process is not made until after the formal administration process is underway. Under FL. Stat, section 735.2055- Filing of petition, a petition for summary administration may be filed at any stage of the administration of an estate if it appears that at the time of filing the estate would qualify. If you are in the middle of formal administration and would like to initiate a summary proceeding, contact a skilled Fort Lauderdale estate administration lawyer to discuss how to proceed.

Contents of the Petition

The petition for summary administration must include the following information:

  • The name and address of the petitioner and a statement of the petitioner’s interest in the estate
  • The name of the decedent and his (or her) date of death
  • The address of the decedent at the time of death, including the name of the county
  • Name of the surviving spouse, if any
  • Names of beneficiaries and their relationship to the decedent
  • Statement of the value of the assets in the estate to ensure that the estate qualifies for summary administration
  • Statement that the will does not require formal administration
  • Information as to how the assets will be distributed
Creditor Claims

One of the most important goals of estate administration is to ensure that all of the estate debts are paid. Typically, they must be paid prior to assets distribution. If the decedent passed away 2 or more years before the summary administration, creditor claims typically are not an issue since under Florida law creditors must file claims within two years of the decedent’s death. If a creditor fails to do so, the creditor is barred from pursuing the claim.

On the other hand if it has been less than 2 years since the death of the decedent, then creditor claims must be addressed prior to asset distribution. As an experienced estate administration attorney in Fort Lauderdale will explain, because there is not a personal representative to manage summary administration, it is up to the petitioner to make a diligent search for creditors and to serve a copy of the petition to those creditors. The petitioner must see to it that creditors who make valid claims are paid to the extent there are assets in the estate to pay the claims.

Related Statutory Provisions
  1. Summary administration; nature of proceedings: § 735.201, Fla. Stat.
  2. May be administered in the same manner as other estates: § 735.202, Fla. Stat.
  3. Petition for summary administration: § 735.203, Fla. Stat.
  4. Summary administration distribution: § 735.206, Fla. Stat.
  5. Notice to creditors: § 735.2063, Fla. Stat.
FL. Stat, Section 735.2055- Filing of Petition

The petition for summary administration may be filed at any stage of the administration of an estate if it appears that at the time of filing the estate would qualify.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

Florida summary administration offers advantages over formal administration. It is less expense and quicker. However, before concluding that it is the best option, discuss the specifics of your situation with 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 on matters related to all aspects of administration, and understand the requirements of Florida Statutes, section 735.2055- Filing of petition. We can help. Contact us attorneys at 561-710-4000 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case.

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