Tampa Summary Administration Attorney
Summary administration is a simplified version of probate. It can be used when the decedent has been dead for more than two years or their estate is valued at less than $75,000, and there are no complicated creditor claims or other disputes. While the estate still must pass through probate, summary administration takes less time, money, and resources than full administration. The Tampa summary administration attorneys at Strategic Counsel Law Group, L.C. can help you through this legal process to close the estate and distribute assets to beneficiaries without any further delay.
What is Probate?
Probate is the official proving of a will. Before assets within an estate can be distributed to beneficiaries, the following must happen:
- All estate assets must be accounted for and collected
- Creditors must be notified and paid
- Estate taxes must be paid
- Will contests and any probate administration disputes must be resolved
In full (formal) administration, a personal representative (also called an executor) must be appointed to oversee the probate process. In summary administration, no personal representative is needed because of the relative simplicity of administering such an estate.
Is Summary Administration the Right Decision?
Summary administration, which often takes as little as one to two months, is much quicker than formal administration, which takes at least six months but often a year or more. This alone is one reason to consider summary administration—it saves time and money. However, summary administration should be reserved for estates that either have no creditors or are very small, with values less than $75,000. In fact, summary administration might be a bad choice even for very small estates if there are multiple creditors.
Florida’s Two Year Creditor Limit
Probate allows creditors to file claims for payment against estates. Executors must notify and pay all creditors Florida law demands before distributing assets to beneficiaries. However, creditors only have two years to bring a claim against a deceased person in Florida. If they have not brought a claim by the two-year mark, they are barred from bringing any additional claims. As such, if there are no outstanding creditor claims, an estate of any size (including estate much larger than $75,000) can pass through the simplified summary administration process.
Call a Tampa Summary Administration Attorney Today
While there is no personal representative or executor involved in summary administration, you still have a duty as the petitioner in a summary administration. The petitioner’s duties include filing a notice to bar future creditor claims when the decedent has been dead for two years, filing an affidavit of personal liability, making a diligent effort to locate creditor claims and ensure that the estate has no relevant debts that need to be paid, and paying debts if creditors are owed. An attorney can help you with this process to ensure that the court admits summary administration and does not convert the summary administration to formal administration, which can take a year or more to complete. Call the Strategic Counsel Law Group, L.C. today at 813-286-1700 to schedule a free consultation.