Summary Administration – Chapter 735 of the Florida Statutes Probate Code deals with small estates and provides two parts. Summary Administration is the probate procedure that may be used if the decedent’s will does not require formal administration in testate estate, and in intestate estates when the value of the entire estate subject to administration is less than $75,000, or the date of death is more than two years ago. An estate that qualifies may still be administered in the formal process, but this option is available if it otherwise makes sense. I recommend it be reserved for estates that are very simple. The petition may be filed by any beneficiary or named personal representative. It must be signed and verified spelling out all of the assets and interested parties. The interested parties must receive notice with an opportunity to object, or they can waive notice, join in the petition and consent to the relief requested to expedite the process. For estates that qualify, but have a date of death less than two years and assets that are subject to creditor claims, it is recommended to publish a notice to creditors after the order of summary administration is signed by the court to limit the time unknown creditors would have to file claims against the estate. In summary administration, the beneficiaries who receive non-exempt property can be held liable for the debts of the estate to the extent those debts are covered by the assets received. Part two covers the disposition of personal property without administration. This procedure involves a properly executed affidavit requesting authorization of payment of property to those entitled.
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