What is a Summary Administration Probate in Florida?

Written by: Nataline Garcia, Esq.

Summary administration probate is a summary proceeding, governed by Florida Chapter 735, that does not require the appointment of a Florida personal representation, nor does it require formal publication to estate creditors. A Florida summary administration probate generally requires less time, effort, and expense than a formal administration probate.  

Although it seems like a summary administration would be the obvious solution to probate compared to a formal administration, there are only two ways in which an estate can qualify for summary administration in Florida. For summary administration to be available:

  • The decedent must have been dead for more than two years, or
  • The value of the entire estate subject to administration in Florida, less the value of property exempt from the claims of creditors, must not exceed $75,000 and
  • The last will and testament does not direct a formal probate administration to be filed.

Similar to a formal administration, a Florida summary administration will begin once a petition is filed in the appropriate court. The petition for summary administration may be filed by any beneficiary or by a person nominated as a personal representative by the decedent’s last will and testament, if applicable. The petition must be signed and verified by a surviving spouse, if applicable. The probate rules require that the petition include supporting facts establishing that the estate is in fact eligible for summary administration, a list of assets and their values, information about the estate’s debt, and a plan for distributing the assets.  

Once the court receives the petition and is satisfied that the estate qualifies, the court issues an order distributing the assets.  Unlike a formal administration, a personal representative is not appointed. The assets of the estate are immediately distributed to beneficiaries and creditors upon the entry of the order admitting the estate to probate.

If you are in need of filing a probate because of the passing of a loved one, make sure to consult an experienced probate Florida attorney to determine what probate is appropriate to be filed. If you have any questions please feel free to contact the Law Office of Ray Garcia, P.A., at 305-227-4030 or via email at legal@raygarcialaw.com