David Howard Goldberg, P.L.

Simplified probate, is that a real thing?

One of your loved ones passed away, and you are trying to figure out what you need to do to close out his or her estate. In the state of Florida, probate is often a requirement to do just that. There are different types of probate offered, though, and you are not sure which applies to your case or how long it will take.

Probate can get really confusing. As previously stated, there are different types of probate, and each one has different rules to follow. Simplified probate — also known as summary administration — would be the ideal, as it takes the least amount of time and costs less as well. Not every estate will meet the requirements to use this option, however.

Summary administration basics

This type of probate is the streamlined probate process. It is the fastest one to get through, but only certain estates qualify to utilize this process. To qualify, the estate cannot be valued at more than $75,000 — this does not include protected homestead property — and the decedent passed away more than two years ago. The valued property can belong to a resident or nonresident.

Depending on the size of the estate and to whom the property now belongs, summary administration can take a week to complete, or it could take a couple of months. Every estate is different, as is every probate case.

There are court costs associated with summary administration. It is usually several hundred dollars. Fees differ, depending on the size of the estate. Still, simplified probate typically costs less than the formal probate process.

When is summary administration not appropriate?

Even small estates may be subject to will contests, debt issues and a number of other problems that can pop up when going through the probate process. Summary administration is not the appropriate choice when dealing with such issues. Formal administration is the way to go when dealing with complex matters.

Not sure what to do?

If you are not sure which type of probate fits your needs, it is wise to seek guidance on the matter. An experienced probate attorney can review your case and help you open your probate case in the correct forum. Working through the probate process allows further assistance, whether you end up in summary administration or formal probate court.

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