Law Firm of Michael W. Porter 727-327-7600
Under certain circumstances, when the probate assets are valued not more than $75,000.00, or if the decedent passed away more than two years prior to opening an estate, then it may be possible to probate the estate using "Summary Administration". This abbreviated estate administration consists of filing a petition with the court requesting that the court enter an order authorizing that the estate assets be distributed to creditors and the person or persons who are entitled thereto.
If the estate is not eligible for Summary Administration, it will most likely be necessary under such circumstances to open a "Formal Administration".
Legal fees for a Summary Administration range from $2,500.00 to $3,500.00, or more, if extraordinary services are required including such items as a will contest, or other litigation, tax audit, tax return preparation, sale of real estate, determination of homestead, determination of beneficiaries, etc
The costs associated with a Summary Administration in Pinellas County, Florida, total approximately $750.00, and include Court filing fee ($358.00); and publication of a Notice to Creditors ($100.00); certified copies, photocopies, postage and long distance telephone calls, etc.
At your first appointment to discuss the facts of your case with an attorney to determine your options and an estimate of the fees and costs involved, you should bring a short form death certificate for the decedent, the original will of the decedent, if any, and copies of documents relating to the decedent's assets (i.e. deeds, bank statements, statements from other investment corporations, or financial institutions, stocks, bonds, certificates of title, etc.), and creditors.
If all of the information is provided and the petition filed properly, an Order of Summary Administration is usually entered in approximately two weeks time.
This is a brief overview of Florida estate procedures, which we hope will help to give you a better idea of what is involved with an Summary Administration.