Administration of Probate Estates
Whether someone dies leaving a will, or an estate, most estates need
to go through probate administration. The purpose of probate administration is to pass title
to assets to a person's heirs or beneficiaries, and to dispose of a person's debts to creditors.
For example, if a person dies owning a savings account in her name, that person's heirs will
not be able to get at that money until the estate has been administered. This applies to most
property owned by a person at their death.
Full Administration vs. Summary Administration.
Estates having assets of less than $75,000.00 may require only a summary administration, which
is relatively quick and inexpensive. Estates with assets exceeding $75,000.00 require a full
administration, a more involved and costsly process.
It is worth noting that under Florida’s “homestead” law, a person’s
residence is not included for purposes of calculating the value of the estate assets. Thus,
a person may own a million dollar home, and still qualify for summary administration if all
other assets in the estate are less than $75,000.00.