A Guide to Preparing the Petition for Summary Administration in Florida

When it comes to the probate process in Florida, understanding the various procedures and forms is crucial. One such form that plays a pivotal role in expediting the probate process is the Petition for Summary Administration. 

Summary Administration is a streamlined probate procedure designed to simplify the settlement of smaller estates, making it more efficient and less time-consuming. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the process of preparing the Petition for Summary Administration in Florida.

Understanding Summary Administration:

Summary Administration is a probate process tailored for smaller estates in Florida, where the total value of non-exempt assets is less than $75,000. Homestead property is considered an exempt asset, so the value of homestead property is not even considered in the $75,000 threshold. It can also be used for larger estates if the deceased has passed away more than two years. This process allows for a faster resolution compared to formal probate administration.

Step-by-Step Guide to Preparing the Petition:

1. Gather the Necessary Information. Begin by collecting essential information about the deceased person (decedent) and their estate. This includes details such as the decedent’s full name, last four their social security number, where the deceased was domiciled, last known address, date of death, and a comprehensive list of assets and debts. 

2. Obtain the Required Forms. Visit the official website of the Florida Probate Court to download the Petition for Summary Administration form. Ensure that you have the most recent version of the form to comply with any updates in legal requirements.

3. Complete the Petition Accurately. Carefully fill out all sections of the form with accurate and up-to-date information. This includes details about the decedent, their heirs, and a comprehensive list of the assets and debts of the estate. Information about the petitioner must also be included. Take note that the petition must list the assets in detail.

4. Attach Required Documents. Certain supporting documents are typically required to accompany the petition. This may include an original or certified copy of the death certificate and the original Last Will & Testament (if any). 

5. Sign the Petition. The completed Petition for Summary Administration form must be signed. This step is crucial before submitting the petition to the court.

6. File the Petition with the Probate Court. Take the signed Petition for Summary Administration, along with the required supporting documents, to the local probate court. Submit the petition to initiate the Summary Administration process. Be prepared to pay any applicable filing fees. Depending on the county in which the probate is filed, other documents may also have to be prepared and filed during the course of the probate, including an Affidavit of No Estate Tax Due, an Affidavit of Heirs, an Affidavit in Support of Homestead, etc.

7. Attend a Hearing (if required). In some cases, a hearing may be required before the judge will sign the final Order of Summary Administration. If required, attend the hearing, and be prepared to answer any questions the court may have.

How Farshchian Law Can Help

Navigating the legal intricacies of preparing the Petition for Summary Administration in Florida is a crucial step in expediting the probate process for smaller estates. The probate process is often delayed when the petition and other supporting documentation is not drafted properly.

Though hiring an attorney does add to the costs involved for a probate, it often saves a lot of time and hassle. If the deceased left real property that has to go through probate before you can sell it, the time saved by hiring an experienced probate attorney will ultimately save you on paying many of the ongoing expenses relating to the property (i.e., property taxes, insurance, association dues, etc).

We offer a flat fee structure for Summary Administration matters so that you do not end up with any surprises. For a free consultation and to discuss the details of your probate case with an experienced Florida probate attorney, call us today at (800) 604-1871, or email us at Probate@JFRealEstateLaw.com. We provide probate, real estate, and closing/title services throughout the State of Florida.