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Gainesville, FL Estate Planning, Will & Trust Law Blog

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Formal vs. Summary Administration of Estates

Everyone has heard horror stories about Probate. However, there is nothing inherently evil about it, and it provides a number of benefits. There are two types of Probate in Florida: Formal Administration and Summary Administration. Formal Administration has the advantage that it provides a court-supervised structure to ensure that everyone with a stake in the estate gets a fair shake. If there are any disputes, they can be brought before the Court for resolution. Once distributions are made to the beneficiaries and the estate is closed, the beneficiaries do not have to worry about future claims against the estate.

Summary Administration, as the name implies, is less formal, takes less time, and costs less. However, little guidance or protection is provided in the event of a dispute or a claim against the estate. Summary Administration can be used if there is no direction for Formal Administration in the Will, the assets of the estate do not exceed $75,000, or if the decedent has been deceased for more than two years. In these instances, the court can order an immediate distribution of the assets to the heirs. In a functional family where no claims or disputes are anticipated, if an estate qualifies for Summary Administration, that is often the wiser choice.

Getting Legal Help

At White and Crouch we understand what your estate plan should and should not include to protect your assets and your loved ones. We can help you make a thorough plan to give you peace of mind. Contact us today at 352-372-1011.

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From our office in Gainesville, the estate planning firm of White & Crouch, P.A. advises and represents clients in communities throughout Alachua County, Marion County, Levy County, Putnam County, Clay County, Bradford County, Union County and Gilchrist County in North Central Florida. Call us at 352-372-1011 or contact the firm by email to arrange an initial consultation with us today.

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