Navigating the world of probate and figuring out how to follow the wishes of a loved one according to their will is a confusing process. Tackling these challenges while still grieving your loved one is stressful.
Depending on the size of the estate involved and a few other factors, the estate may be subject to either summary probate or formal probate administration.
What is formal probate administration?
Any estate valued over $75,000 where administration begins within two years of the death is subject to formal probate administration. The length of time for formal administration depends on the circumstances of each case but will likely take at least a few months.
The process includes opening the estate, appointing a personal representative, notifying creditors, filing an inventory, paying the creditors, distributing assets, filing taxes and finally filing a final accounting to have the personal representative formally discharged of duty. Formal administration also requires the payment of filing fees and attorneys fees.
What is summary probate administration?
In Florida, to qualify for summary probate administration, either the estate’s total value must be less than $75,000 or the deceased individual must have died two years or more before the request for summary administration. Summary administration is much quicker than formal administration. It is possible for heirs to receive probate assets without a lengthy delay.
Any beneficiary or nominated personal representative can file a petition for summary administration, signed by any surviving spouse and all beneficiaries, at any point in the administration process if it appears that the estate would qualify.