Florida law provides two types of probate – summary administration and formal administration. Summary administration is considered the fastest and most efficient form of probate, as it only requires a few weeks to complete.
How much does a summary of probate cost in Florida? Read on to find out.
Summary Administration vs. Formal Administration in Florida – The Basics
As provided by Florida Statutes §735.201, “summary administration may be had in the administration of either a resident or nonresident decedent’s estate, when it appears:
- In a testate estate, that the decedent’s will does not direct administration as required by Fla. Stat. §733
- That the value of the entire estate subject to administration in this state, less the value of property exempt from the claims of creditors, does not exceed $75,000, or
- That the decedent has been dead for more than two years”
If an estate qualifies for summary administration, it is possible to administer and close it within two months. Conversely, a standard formal administration requires at least six months until closing is due.
Depending on the size and complexity of the deceased’s estate, formal administration can last up to two years.
How Much Does a Summary of Probate Cost in Florida? – In Detail
When compared to formal administration, summary administration involves fewer costs due to the lack of formalities involved in the process. In essence, the costs involved in summary administration are filing fees and attorneys’ fees.
Even though the petitioner is not legally required to hire a licensed attorney, it is the best approach to avoid costly mistakes and ensure a smooth distribution process. Summary administration is an ideal option only if:
- The decedent died with no creditors
- The decedent estate consists only of exempt assets (Fla. Stat. §735.301), or
- The decedent has been dead for more than two years
Under Florida law, creditors have a statutory limit of two years to file any claims against an estate subject to probate. Once the two-year period is over, all creditors’ claims are forever barred.
If the decedent has been dead for less than two years but the estate qualifies for summary administration, the petitioner has two options:
- File a Notice to Creditors to curb future creditors’ claims, or
- File an Affidavit affirming the estate is not indebted
A petitioner who opts for filing an Affidavit remains personally liable for any claims brought against the decedent’s estate before the statutory period is over.
When it comes to attorneys’ fees, legal advisors in Florida have two models to charge for their services – a flat fee or an hourly fee.
For example, the flat fee for a standard case of summary administration in the Miami-Dade Court may cost around $1,000-$2,500, plus the filing fees (around $350) paid to the court.
The hourly fee may cost between 5250 to $400 per hour, depending on the circumstances of the case. This option may be viable in some cases, considering the attorney can file a Petition for Summary Administration with the document package in one batch.
Do You Need a Cost-Efficient Solution for Summary Administration? – Contact Your Florida Probate Lawyer Today
Our focus is providing the best solution for your case. Immediately contact Attorneys Romy B. Jurado and Diana C. Collazos by calling (305) 921-0976 or emailing Romy@juradolawfirm.com for expert legal guidance.