There are two different types of probate administration processes in the state of Florida: summary and formal. While many people are required to use the formal process for larger estates, summary administration is a useful option in other cases.
Summary probate administration does not have all the requirements and formalities as the other process. While this streamlined approach can be helpful, it is still important to avoid mistakes. You can ask a knowledgeable probate attorney to help you navigate summary probate administration in West Miami.
Qualifying for Summary Administration
There are two situations where summary administration is appropriate. Outside of these circumstances, Florida law generally requires a petition to go through the formal administration process. In fact, even estates that would otherwise qualify for summary administration must go through the formal process if it is required under the language in the last will and testament.
The first situation where summary probate administration is appropriate is when the value of the estate is relatively small. An estate qualifies for this approach if the total value of non-exempt assets is less than $75,000. Of course, the total value of an estate can be much higher than that amount if most of the assets are exempt. Non-exempt assets are generally those held exclusively in the name of the decedent. Things like a family home or assets owned jointly with a spouse are often exempt.
The second situation where West Miami summary probate administration is appropriate is in cases filed more than two years after a person’s death. If a petition is filed within that two-year window that exceeds the $75,000 threshold, it must be filed as a formal administration case. After two years, these cases can be handled as summary administration.
Advantages of Summary Probate Administration
There are some advantages that come with the summary probate administration process. One of the biggest advantages is that the lack of formalities means the process often takes much less time and effort. These cases can generally be resolved much faster than formal administration, and often at a much lesser financial cost.
In addition to being faster and less costly, there is also no requirement for a bond. Unlike in formal proceedings, the personal representative of the estate does not have to pay a bond to the court to move the process forward. Not having to pay a bond can save the estate both time and money.
There is also less court supervision during this process compared to formal proceedings. The lack of close court monitoring is one of the reasons why summary probate administration in West Miami can move much faster compared to the formal option. This lack of supervision also gives petitioners more leeway in handling the estate in the way they see fit.
Finally, there is no requirement of court approval for final accountings. Without this requirement in place, the personal representative could save time and estate funds on these accounting tasks.
Talk to an Attorney About Summary Probate Administration in West Miami Today
You should not take on the task of handling probate alone. While summary probate administration in West Miami is the less-complex of the two approaches, there are still details that you want to make sure you get right. Reach out to us today and discuss your options with The Florida Probate & Family Law Firm during a free consultation.