Legally, there are four types of probate administration in Florida: formal administration, summary administration, ancillary administration and a non-court supervised administration proceeding called “Disposition of Personal Property without Administration”, but this type of administration only applies in limited circumstances. The type of probate proceeding is determined by the unique circumstances of the deceased’s estate, including the size and or value of the estate.
Formal Administration – All estates, regardless of size and or value are eligible for Formal Administration, even estates with no assets. Formal Administration is required when non-exempt assets exceed $75,000 (and less than 2 years have passed since the date of death). Formal Administration is recommended when there are multiple creditors or a Personal Representative needs to be appointed to handle certain affairs of the estate which may include contract issues, mortgages, liens, and litigations.
Summary Administration – This administration is available for the estates valued less than $75,000 or when the decedent has been dead for more than two years. There is no need under this administration to appoint the personal representative.
Ancillary Administration – This is the administration of an estate in a state where the decedent did not live, for the purpose of disposing of property owned in that state.
Disposition of Personal Property without Administration – This is used to request the release of assets of the deceased to the person who paid the final expenses, such as funeral or medical bills. This can be done when the decedent only leaves personal property that is exempt from the claims of creditors and for nonexempt property with a value that does exceed the sum of the amount of funeral expenses and reasonable and necessary medical and hospital expenses of the last 60 days of the last illness.