The probate process in Florida is often complex and can last for months if not longer.
However, summary administration is a form of probate that is of considerably shorter duration. Does the estate of your deceased loved one qualify for this kind of process?
About summary administration
As long as an estate meets the requirements, summary administration can significantly reduce the length, effort and expense of the usual probate process. To qualify, either the decedent must have been dead for a minimum of two years, or the value of the estate minus the value of property exempt from creditor claims does not exceed $75,000. Summary administration does not require the management of a personal representative. However, the process is not available if there is a will directing formal probate.
The two-year nonclaim provision in the state of Florida puts an end to any creditor claims that were not presented within two years of the death of the debtor. However, if the debtor has been deceased for less than two years, summary administration can only proceed after “a diligent search and reasonable inquiry for any known or reasonably ascertainable creditors, serve a copy of the petition on those creditors, and make provision for payment for those creditors to the extent that assets are available.”
If your deceased loved one was a Florida homeowner with a primary residence in the state, there must be a separate proceeding together with a summary administration to determine homestead. A Florida homestead is not part of the method for calculating the $75,000 limitation. Also, if the homestead is the only asset of the estate, then, regardless of value, it alone will trigger the summary administration process.