Disposition Without Administration and Summary Administration
By: Barry E. Haimo, Esq.
February 17, 2022
When you are trying to handle the estate of a loved one who has passed, there are all kinds of steps you may need to take to get through the process, and it’s easy to make a misstep. That’s why we recommend taking a look at our free Post-Mortem Checklist. Knowing the right path can help guide you and make the whole thing easier and more successful.
Something you definitely want to avoid if possible is the headache of a lengthy probate process. Thankfully, if an estate is below a certain value, it may qualify for another process that can simplify or even forgo probate.
So, what are the options? Disposition without administration or summary administration. Depending on the value and type of assets, the estate may qualify for one of these shortened processes. Essentially, they allow assets to be easily passed to beneficiaries according to the will.
Let’s take a look at how these options work in Florida.
Does your Small Estate Qualify for a Simplified Probate Process?
If you are an heir to an estate in Florida, you may be eligible to claim assets quickly instead of waiting out the probate process.
The first step is to determine an estate’s eligibility.
Here are the qualifications under Florida statutes:
- Florida Statute § 735.301: There is no real estate, and all property is exempt from creditors’ claims except amounts needed to pay funeral and two months’ last illness expenses. The court will authorize transfer of property to people entitled to it upon a simple petition or application to the court.
- Florida Statute § 735.201: The value of the entire estate subject to administration in Florida, less the value of property that is exempt from creditors’ claims, doesn’t exceed $75,000, OR the deceased person has been dead more than two years. A petition must be filed with the court.
If you have determined that the small estate in question qualifies under one of the Florida statutes above, there are two different procedures to choose from: disposition without administration or summary administration.
Disposition Without Administration
Under Florida Statute 735.301, if you have recently paid for either the medical or funeral expenses of a loved one in the state of Florida, you may be eligible for disposition without administration. This quick process can be done without any legal assistance or probate. It reimburses any medical and funeral expenses back to the payee using the assets of the estate. And it can be done in a few short weeks.
It is imperative, however, that the estate doesn’t contain any real property or formal legal proceedings will become necessary.
Do you qualify for disposition without administration? Begin by filing a form found on the court website of the county in which the estate is located and the decedent resided. There are also necessary documents to include with the form.
Documents Needed for a Disposition without Administration:
Copies of any and all documents that demonstrate the assets in the small estate
- An official copy of the death certificate of the decedent
- Copies of all funeral and medical expenses, bills, contracts, etc. that you paid
- Legal proof of identity (confirm which are eligible on your county’s website)
- The decedent’s will, if they had one
- Any filing fees required by the county court
If the estate in question does not qualify for a disposition without administration, it may still be eligible for summary administration under Florida Statute 735.201. This process minimizes probate by petitioning the court to turn over the assets of the estate to its heirs, provided there are no outstanding debts.
Under this statute, it must have been two or more years since the decedent’s death and the estate must have a total value of less than $75,000.
Unlike disposition without administration, summary administration still involves probate, court appearances, and legal proceedings. If you decide to proceed with summary administration, it is best to have a qualified attorney on your side.
If you are the heir of a small estate in Florida looking for guidance, Haimo Law can help. Our 4-step unique proven process can help you navigate small estate inheritance and avoid significant costs, conflict, and court time. Call us to get started today at 954-228-3369.
Barry E. Haimo, Esq.
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