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Probate - Summary Administration

If you have negative associations with the word probate, you’re not the only one. This process can be unpleasant for most people, but with competent and caring legal representation, it doesn’t have to be burdensome. Did you know that some estates can avoid the drawn-out process of formal probate if they meet certain criteria?

Summary administration is an option for many estates, and we can advise you on whether or not your estate, or the estate you are representing, qualifies for this probate process.

You can move forward without any guesswork, because our decades of experience have made us highly qualified to handle your probate needs, and our flat-fee system gives you transparent pricing.

Summary Administration v. Formal Administration


The formal administration process can be long and expensive, with a laundry list of tasks for the personal representative to complete. Summary administration foregoes a lot of that hassle, but not every estate will qualify. An estate valued at less than $75,000, not including exempt assets, may be eligible. If the decedent has passed more than two years ago, this simpler and quicker administration may also be an option. 

At the forefront of many people’s concerns when considering probate procedures are usually two things – time and cost. Summary administration can save you both of these things. If you’re not sure whether the estate in question qualifies for this type of probate, we are happy to look at the details of your case and advise you on which method would work best for you.


Exempt Assets


When we say exempt assets, we mean property that is not subject to a creditor’s claims. These often include:

  • The homestead, or the house that functioned as the primary residence of the decedent

  • Qualifying vehicles 

  • Furniture and furnishings up to $20,000


There are caveats to these standards that would make certain assets non-exempt, which is why it is important to consult with a knowledgeable attorney in order to avoid any unpleasant surprises.


Time Frames


After a few mentions of the expedited time frame of summary administration, you are probably wondering exactly how long this process will take. Unfortunately, it is impossible to provide an exact length of time for settling any estate. It is heavily subjective and prone to fluctuations based on things like creditor responses, court schedules, and the size of the estate. However, despite this uncertainty, it is usually a safe bet to say it will not take as long as the formal administration process. 


The only way to be sure you choose the correct type of administration is to consult with experienced probate lawyers. atCause Law Office has over 40 years of combined experience at our disposal, and we will use it to guide you in the right direction. Call us today at 727-477-2255 for a consultation.

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