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How To Handle A Small Estate In Florida

Before approaching a probate attorney in Florida, it’s advisable to know more about the available options you might have. There are two fast-track processes for small estates followed in Florida. When a person passes away, it becomes quite expensive and time-demanding to probate the will or transfer the estate via court proceedings. Hence, Florida has introduced two swift procedural options enabling heirs to handle a small estate in a quicker and simpler manner. These procedures are “disposition without administration” and “summary administration.”

Disposition Without Administration

In order to be eligible for this fast-track procedure, the worth of the decedent’s estate should not be in excess of $6,000 of nonexempted property and must not consist of any real property.

Exempted property is not taken into account in the overall value while evaluating the estate for this procedure. Exempted property is inclusive of furniture, appliances, and other household items up to a value of $20,000. Also, other exempted ones include two motor vehicles, qualified tuition programs, and some benefits. All assets ought to be owned only by the decedent. The spouse or surviving children can opt for disposition of all assets which are eligible.

Filing For Disposition Without Administration

Filing for disposition of personal property without administration in Florida requires you to fill up a form, which differs from county to county. All you need to do is to attach a will if any and a verified copy of the concerned death certificate. You will have to attach documents that can depict the decedent’s asset value, such as bank statements, investment statements, and so on. Finally, provide the filing fee along with documentation supporting your identity, and you’re good to go!

The form should only be submitted in the county in which the decedent resided. The court will review the form and the attached documents. In a matter of a few weeks, the court will pass an order to grant disposition. The order will clearly state to whom the assets will belong and this is to be used to get the assets from the institutions which are in possession of the same.

Summary Administration

This is the second type of process in Florida for small estates and can be opted in case the estate includes not more than $75,000 of nonexempted assets, or if it has been over two years since the decedent’s death. Only a beneficiary named in the will, or the person appointed as a personal representative, as and if stated in the decedent’s will, can officially file for summary administration.

Filing For Summary Administration

A Florida probate attorney can help you with the filing for summary administration. This is a proper probate procedure that will be presented in court. It includes the filing of a petition for summary administration. Hence, it’s essential to seek professional assistance from a probate lawyer in Florida for this procedure.

Both of the aforementioned pathways ensure a swift solution to close an estate as compared to full probate proceedings. These are usually less costly too. However, you should make sure that you have all the estate planning documents up to date so that you can have access to them whenever required.