Summary administration is just like Florida probate, but a precise form of it, where the appointment of a personal representative is not needed. It generally involves lesser time, nominal efforts and lesser expenditure as compared to formal administration.
An estate can be eligible for summary administration in Florida only if the decedent is dead for 2 years or more, or if the difference between the total value of the estate in question and the value of the property which is exempted from creditors’ claim is less than $75,000.
In case the decedent had a will and testament which particularly stated formal probate, summary administration will be unavailable, even though any of the aforementioned criteria is being fulfilled.
Summary administration begins with the filing of a petition in court, which can be filed by any beneficiary or a person who’s nominated as a personal representative as per the decedent’s will. However, if there is any surviving spouse, it ought to be signed and verified by him or her.
The distribution of the assets of the estate is done to all the beneficiaries and creditors once the court orders to do so, after examining the eligibility and verifying the facts of such a summary administration.
There are several effects of creditor claims and Florida homestead on summary administration, which are dependent on various relevant factors. In case the decedent is dead for more than a period of 2 years, creditor claims will be out of the picture because of Florida’s 2-year non-claim provision prohibiting such claims which are not brought within 2 years of the decedent’s death.
Although, in a situation where the decedent is not dead for 2 years, the creditor claims must be taken into consideration before the issuance of an order of summary administration.
There is also a mandatory requisite under the Florida law which states that the petitioner in a proceeding of summary administration must make an unambiguous inquiry and thereby diligently search for any known or reasonably discoverable creditors, send a copy of such a petition to those creditors and make a payment provision for them to the extent of the availability of the assets.
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