Issues Related to the Administration of Estates Under $75,000
Filing for a Summary Administration under Florida law, saves both time and money. However, the decision to move forward with a Florida Summary Administration needs to be made carefully because made in haste, issues can arise from choosing this option over a full probate administration.
No Personal Representative Means No One Has Power to Act
In a summary administration, there is no Personal Representative named by the probate court and no one in an official capacity to handle the estate’s assets like a Personal Representative executor does in a formal administration. Banks, taxing authorities, and others may not respond to requests of the beneficiaries; they may legally be required to respond to inquiries of executors in formal administrations but not to anyone involved in a summary administration.
Similarly, if the decedent died while there were lawsuits pending in his name, the summary administration does not provide for anyone to keep those lawsuits moving forward. There is no personal representative in a summary administration to act on behalf of the estate that was created when the person died who is the plaintiff in that case.
Complications Where Florida Summary Administration Not the Best Option
Even when beneficiaries may believe that a quick summary administration is the best course to take for a loved one’s will after his or her passing, the advice and counsel of a Florida probate lawyer may change their minds. There are complications in what may appear to be a simple situation that mean a Florida summary administration is not the optimal approach to probating the Last Will and Testament of a loved one who has recently died.
For example, assets in more than one state or country means an estate that crosses state lines and may need a formal probate administration with a Florida personal representative to act on behalf of the Florida estate.
Another example: beneficiaries that live in several different places (states, countries) may need a Florida personal representative to sign or act on matters required by their jurisdiction. Taxing authorities may require the estate have a personal representative to act on behalf of the Florida estate, as well.
Fort Lauderdale Summary Administrations
As a Florida probate lawyer practicing in Fort Lauderdale and its surrounding communities for over 20 years, Fort Lauderdale probate attorney Larry Tolchinsky has answered countless questions regarding the decision between a summary administration and a full probate proceeding.
In these cases, the decision on whether or not a summary administration is best for the beneficiaries living in Fort Lauderdale, South Florida, or other states or foreign countries, must be made after careful consideration of the particular facts of the case. Is there non-homestead real estate that is being sold? Is the title company for the buyer asking for a Personal Representative’s Deed?
If the answer to these questions is yes, a formal administration must then be pursed which requires the assistance of a Florida probate lawyer before the local Florida probate court to draft the proper administration documents and the other documents needed to finalize the sale or distribution of the real estate.
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