Probate: Summary Administration Lawyers in Orlando, Florida 

The probate process is the legal process by which a will is validated, an estate’s assets are appraised and accounted for, debts and taxes paid, and it is the process through which assets are distributed to beneficiaries. The summary administration probate process is Florida’s simplified probate process. There are certain benefits to using this process if the estate qualifies. With the summary administration process, the will is submitted to the court along with a list of the estate’s assets and property. Once the court approves the will and the list of assets, the property of the estate can be distributed to heirs. In some cases, this probate process can move along quite quickly.

Does your loved one’s estate qualify for summary administration? If the value of the deceased person’s property, bank accounts, and assets doesn’t exceed $75,000 (this amount does not include a person’s home), the estate may qualify for summary administration. If the deceased person passed away at least two years ago and there was no distribution of the estate, summary administration may also be possible. In order to qualify for the summary administration probate process, the deceased person must have no debts, or all creditors must agree to the summary administration process. Summary administration may also be used by non-Florida residents if an estate includes Florida property or real estate and the estate must go through probate in the state of Florida, as long as the estate meets the requirements for the summary administration process.

The passing of a family member or loved one can be stressful for everyone involved. You and your family may be handling final arrangements and may be facing unexpected expenses. The probate process can sound overwhelming. Legal Counsel, P.A employs a probate lawyer who can facilitate the process for you and your family.  Have questions? We have answers. Contact Legal Counsel, P.A. today at 407-982-4321.

Do I Need a Lawyer for a Summary Administration Probate in Florida? 

While the summary administration probate process can be much more simplified than other types of probate, you may still want to hire a probate lawyer. Our probate lawyer at Legal Counsel, P.A. in Orlando, Florida can draft the documents required which can be extensive. Even the Florida courts note that additional documents may be required because each probate process will depend on the nature of the deceased person’s estate. What is required to open estate under summary administration?

  • A death certificate must be submitted to the court. Families must provide the original certified copy.
  • A Last Will and Testament, original copy must be sent to the Probate Clerk’s Office. In order for a will to be validated, it generally needs to have been signed by two witnesses, signed by the person who passed away, and be self-proving (namely, that no family member or beneficiary contests the validity of the will).
  • A list of assets showing that the assets are valued less than $75,000 must be provided or proof that the person passed away more than 2 years ago must be submitted.
  • Beneficiaries or the executor may need to submit a form to determine whether real property in the estate is protected under Florida’s homestead requirements.
  • A list of beneficiaries and the name of the deceased person’s surviving spouse should be submitted.
  • A document showing that a formal search for creditors has been made and that either claims against the estate have been satisfied or there are no claims on the estate (namely, that the deceased person didn’t have any debts).
  • If there are debts, the court must receive documents that show that these debts have been paid.
  • A list of the estate’s assets and property, appraisal of each item’s value, and a proposed schedule of how the estate’s assets will be distributed to beneficiaries should also be submitted for approval.
  • Signatures from all beneficiaries should be provided.
  • The beneficiaries or executor must complete filled out forms to enter the will into probate.

These are just some of the documents and forms that may be required. Our probate lawyer at  Legal Counsel, P.A. in Orlando, Florida can help you with the process.

Is Summary Administration Possible with an Intestate Estate in Florida? 

What happens if there is no will? Is summary administration possible? In fact, with lower value or lower asset estates, summary administration may be more common because there might not be a will in place. In order for heirs or beneficiaries to receive their inheritance, the summary administration probate process may be required. What is required to complete the summary administration intestate process? According to the Florida courts, the following documents are required:

  • An original copy of the death certificate.
  • Documents listing all property and assets showing that these assets are valued less than $75,000, or that the deceased person passed away at least two years ago.
  • Documents showing that the person’s property was homesteaded in Florida.
  • Documents showing that the deceased person has no creditors or that any claims are barred.
  • Schedule of assets and property and proposed distribution to heirs in accordance with Florida’s intestate laws.
  • Form to determine whether real estate is protected under Florida’s homestead requirements.
  • If creditors exist, proof that creditors have been paid should also be included.
  • All forms must be completed.

The process of filing for summary administration probate can feel overwhelming. Our probate lawyer at Legal Counsel, P.A. can assist you with the intestate probate process. Let our probate lawyer help you.

Are There Limitations to Using Summary Administration? 

While summary administration can move along more quickly than other probate processes, the main limitation is that beneficiaries can be held personally liable for any debt claims made upon the estate for at least two years following the deceased person’s death. Because of this, it is very important to make sure that there are no hidden debts or that any old debts are barred from claims. Our probate lawyer at Legal Counsel, P.A. in Orlando, Florida can help you with checking to uncover any hidden debts or issues. Summary administration is not the best option in all cases. Summary administration is not usually appropriate in complex probate situations, for high net-worth estates, or for estates where there is a great deal of debt or pending lawsuits. Does your loved one’s estate qualify for summary administration? Contact Legal Counsel, P.A. in Orlando, Florida and let our probate lawyer assist you. Have questions? We have answers. Contact Legal Counsel, P.A. today at 407-982-4321.

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