Florida Probate | Summary Administration | Flat Fee Probate In Orlando

What is Florida Summary Administration


Summary Administration is an abbreviated, quicker and cheaper  alternative to full Formal Administration of a Florida Probate Estate. Chapter 735 of the Florida Statutes enumerates the requirements and processes in a Florida Summary Administration. 

From our centrally located offices in downtown Winter Park, Florida, just outside of Orlando, the firm's Probate Administration Attorneys handle Summary Probate Administration across the State of Florida.

Requirements for Summary Administration of a Florida Probate Estate


There are two requirements an estate may meet in order to qualify for Summary Administration in Florida. Pursuant to Section 735.201, Florida Statutes, Summary administration may be had in the administration of either a resident or nonresident decedent’s estate, when it appears:

(1) In a testate estate, that the decedent’s will does not direct administration as required by chapter 733.

(2) That the value of the entire estate subject to administration in this state, less the value of property exempt from the claims of creditors, does not exceed $75,000 or that the decedent has been dead for more than 2 years.

Contact us today regarding Probate Administration in Winter Park, Flat Fee Probate in Winter Park, and Flat Fee Probate in Orlando - Let our probate administration attorneys help with your estate administration anywhere in Florida and often for a flat fee. 

Creditor Claims in a Summary Administration of a Florida Probate Estate


Pursuant to Florida law creditor claims are essentially time barred two years after the decedent's date of death. Where less than two years have passed from the decedent's death a diligent search must be made for creditors who must then be properly notified and served with a copy of the petition for Summary Administration. Provision for payment of creditor claims must be made in a Summary Administration to the extent there are non-exempt assets available. Contact our office located minutes from downtown Orlando, Florida in historic downtown Winter Park  and talk with a Florida Probate lawyer to determine what creditors must be paid in a Florida Summary Probate Administration. 

Don't pay creditor claims when you aren't legally obligated to o so. Contact the our Orlando Probate Attorneys and get the facts on when credit claims are required to be paid and how creditor claims can be avoided in Florida Summary Probate Administration. 

Homestead Property and Summary Administration


In Florida a person's primary residence is afforded special protection from one's creditors, this is called Homestead protection. Article X, Section 4 of the Florida Constitution provides:  There shall be exempt from forced sale under process of any court, and no judgment, decree or execution shall be a lien thereon, except for the payment of taxes and assessments thereon, obligations contracted for the purchase, improvement or repair thereof, or obligations contracted for house, field or other labor performed on the realty, the following property owned by a natural person:

(1) a homestead, if located outside a municipality, to the extent of one hundred sixty acres of contiguous land and improvements thereon, which shall not be reduced without the owner’s consent by reason of subsequent inclusion in a municipality; or if located within a municipality, to the extent of one-half acre of contiguous land, upon which the exemption shall be limited to the residence of the owner or the owner’s family;

(2) personal property to the value of one thousand dollars.

(b) These exemptions shall inure to the surviving spouse or heirs of the owner.

(c) The homestead shall not be subject to devise if the owner is survived by spouse or minor child, except the homestead may be devised to the owner’s spouse if there be no minor child. The owner of homestead real estate, joined by the spouse if married, may alienate the homestead by mortgage, sale or gift and, if married, may by deed transfer the title to an estate by the entirety with the spouse. If the owner or spouse is incompetent, the method of alienation or encumbrance shall be as provided by law.

Petition to Determine Homestead Status of Real Property


Florida homestead law allows provides significant protections and benefits to the decedent's family members when the decedent was both a Florida Resident and the owner of real estate which qualifies as  “homestead” property. In Florida homestead property describes a home that was used as a primary residence, and is less than 160 acres if located outside of a municipality and less than one-half acre if within a municipality. Homestead property passes automatically to the heir(s) under Florida law upon the death of the owner; however, the heirs may not have clear title and will need to open a probate and file a petition to determine homestead status of real property with the probate court. Without clearing title, by obtaining an order determining homestead status of the property the heirs will be unable to sell the property, as title insurance companies require an Order Determining Homestead prior to issuing a title insurance policy.

Where the homestead is the only asset in the decedent’s estate, the person’s representative may be entitled to summary administration. An Order Determining Homestead in Florida can greatly expedite this process. Many state courts will allow a person to file this order at the same time the estate files an Order of Summary Administration, a process that can often allow probate to be completed within a couple of months.

When Summary Administration may not be the Best Choice


While quicker and cheaper than a full formal administration, Summary Administration is not always a good alternative. 

In Summary Administation no Personal Representative is appointed by the Court.  Why does this matter? A petitioner in a Florida Summary Probate Administration does not have the same powers given by the Court to a Personal Representative in a Formal Probate Administration, namely the power to inquire, collect, manage, and dispose of assets. 

Petitioners in a Florida Summary Probate Administration will not have authority to inquire with banking institutions concerning the decedent's accounts, they do not have the power to take possession of property and manage it for the benefit of the estate or heirs.