Probate attorney with client

How Much Does Summary Administration Cost in Florida?

After your loved one passes away, their estate may need to go through a process known as probate. Summary administration is one type of probate available in Florida. There are benefits to using this process, but not every estate qualifies. 

Summary Administration in Florida

Summary administration is simpler, faster, and less expensive than formal estate administration. It offers significant appeal to many beneficiaries of an estate because the formal probate process is often costly and lengthy. Your loved one’s estate may qualify for summary administration if:

  • The value of the estate does not exceed $75,000 (less exempt property); or
  • The decedent passed away over two years ago.

In addition, the will cannot require that the estate pass through direct (formal) administration. There are also creditor requirements to consider, so speaking with a probate attorney is a good idea to ensure that summary administration is in fact the most appropriate type of probate administration for your loved one’s estate.

Certain property is excluded when determining the value of an estate (with regard to the $75,000 threshold stated above), including:

  • The deceased’s homestead (i.e., primary residence);
  • Up to $20,000 worth of household furnishings;
  • Up to two vehicles; and 
  • Some college tuition savings programs.

It becomes easier for some estates to qualify for summary administration when these assets and savings do not have to be included toward the $75,000 limit. 

The Cost of Probate

Probate is often associated with being a stressful, time-consuming, and expensive process. However, it does not have to be with the proper plan in place. If an estate qualifies for summary administration, probate costs tend to be significantly less than with a formal probate administration (for the main differences between these two types of estates, click here).

Calculating the exact cost of probate is difficult to do without knowing the details of the estate, but the total often includes court and filing fees, appraisal costs (if required), personal representative compensation, probate bonds (if applicable), and attorney’s fees. These can add up quickly. Summary administration is a simpler and cheaper option for many estates in Florida. While there are still many similar fees and expenses, the total cost of summary administration is usually less than other forms of probate. 

In most Florida courts, the court filing fees for summary administration are approximately $236 for estates valued at less than $1,000 and approximately $346 for estates valued at over $1,000 but less than $75,000. 

Legal fees may be calculated based on a percentage of the total estate value, but that can have a substantial impact on the estate and the heirs. Here at Farshchian Law, we use a flat-fee system for summary administration, which means you will not face any unwelcome surprises when it comes to attorney’s fees. Farshchian Law’s fixed-rate fee structure (typically starting at $2,500.00) allows you to get the legal assistance you need instead of letting the cost of summary administration prevent you from hiring a probate attorney. 

How We Can Help

To take advantage of summary administration, it’s important to work with an experience Florida probate law firm that can guide you through the process and ensure everything is handled properly. We prepare the necessary documents with the utmost care, including the drafting of the petition for administration, the petition for homestead determination, the affidavits of heirs, and other required documents. Once the summary administration process is complete, the court will issue an Order of Summary Administration, giving the green light to distribute assets to heirs of the estate.

To schedule a free consultation to go over the process in more detail and to obtain a fixed-price quote, call us at 800-610-4650, or email us at Probate@JFRealEstateLaw.com. We cover probate proceedings throughout the entire State of Florida.