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Probate is the court-supervised process for collecting the assets of a deceased person, ensuring payment of the decedent’s debts, and distributing the remaining assets of the decedent to his or her beneficiaries. Florida law provides for an abbreviated probate, if an estate meets the criteria. An abbreviated probate is called a “Summary Probate Administration.”
In Florida, a Summary Probate Administration is available for a decedent’s estate if the value of the estate subject to probate in Florida does not exceed $75,000.00 and provisions are made for payment of the creditors. The value of the estate does not include property exempt from the claims of creditors, such as homestead real property. Florida also allows a Summary Probate Administration if a decedent has been dead for more than two years and there has been no prior probate administration. The value of the estate does not matter in this case.
A Summary Probate Administration starts by filing a petition with the probate court that identifies facts about the estate, such as: the nature and value of the assets, the decedent’s debts, and a plan of distribution of the assets. Next, the court will review the petition, ensure all interested parties have an opportunity to review and respond to the petition, and review the provisions for payment of claims of creditors. After the court is satisfied that the estate is eligible for a Summary Probate Administration, that all creditors have been properly notified or satisfied, and that the plan of distribution correctly identifies the beneficiaries, then the court will enter an order distributing the assets to the beneficiaries.
Baskin Fleece handles all aspects of probate administration. For more information, call (727) 572-4545 or visit www.BaskinFleece.com.