The Florida Association of Legal Document Preparers


Asked and Answered
~Probate and Estates~

Elder Law

(Alexandria, VA, USA)

How can I get information about asset preservation to be eligible for medicaid in Broward County. I am a cancer sufferer and was on disability ( now social security ) in another state. I am planning to move to Broward next year and am concerned because I will have to sell my house and the cash I get may disqualify me.

Answer - Elder Law help

by: Anonymous 

An Irrevocable Trust, also called a "Florida Medicaid Asset Protection Trust" is an asset protection trust may be what you're looking for. We suggest that you seek legal and/or financial advice to make sure this is the right thing for you to do.

According to information we found on - "An individual, known as the trustor, creates the trust and names one or more persons, ... to manage the trust. ... He [the trustor] can retain the right to change the trustee if at any time the trustee is not managing the assets to his/her satisfaction, even though the trust remains irrevocable. The trustor is entitled to all of the income, for himself for his lifetime, and if he desires, he may also make the income available for his spouse...." 

Please continue researching until you find enough information to make an informed decision; and consult professionals as you see fit. We are not attorneys and do not provide legal advice. 

Summary Administration 

What is, or where can I find an Order of Summary Administration? Is there a form for that?

Answer: Summary Administration 

The Order of Summary Administration is the result of probating a small estate. In Florida a small estate is defined as valued at less than $75,000. excluding exempt assets. Before you can obtain an order of summary administration - you first need to petition the court for summary administration. Following is part of the Florida Statute regarding Summary Administration of Estate: 

735.203 Petition for summary administration.—
(1) A petition for summary administration may be filed by any beneficiary or person nominated as personal representative in the decedent’s will offered for probate. The petition must be signed and verified by the surviving spouse, if any, and any beneficiaries except that the joinder in a petition for summary administration is not required of a beneficiary who will receive a full distributive share under the proposed distribution. However, formal notice of the petition must be served on a beneficiary not joining in the petition.

Summary Administration Form


My mom died, and her condo was worth around fifty thousand dollars and I need to file something called a summary administration and I cant find it. Can you help me find one as well as tell me why I need to file it?

Answer: Summary Admin 

Dear Miami,
A Summary Administration is a form of probate for small estates. It isn't just a single form that you need to find and file, it is a collection of forms that will legally wind up your mother's affairs. To be able to use the Summary Administration process the entire estate must be valued at less than $75,000; or the decedent has been dead for more than two years.

Following is a portion of the pertinent Florida Statute: 

735.201 Summary administration; nature of proceedings.

—Summary administration may be had in the administration of either a resident or nonresident decedent’s estate, when it appears:
(1) In a testate estate, that the decedent’s will does not direct administration as required by chapter 733.
(2) That the value of the entire estate subject to administration in this state, less the value of property exempt from the claims of creditors, does not exceed $75,000 or that the decedent has been dead for more than 2 years.


(Huntingtown, MD)

I am the appointed rep (executier) of my father's will. He passed two months ago. He own a piece of land in Sarasota County which is only in his name. In his will, he leaves all property to his wife (my mother). I spoke to the Probate office in that county and they said I HAD to get an attorney to file the forms. I asked them what form numbers were required and she said she did not know?

I would like for my mother not to have to pay large sum of money to simply charge the name of the non-sale property from my father to my mother.

Is there someone that can help me?
Please advise and thank you for any assistance you can provide me!

Answer: Probate 
by: FALDP Staff 

If your father's estate was small you may be able to file a Summary Administration of Estate under Florida Statute 732. The definition of a small estate is an estate that is valued at less than $75,000. excluding exempt property. If the property is valued above that, although you may be able to do it yourself, it is most likely that you will need an attorney. If there is only one heir (the surviving spouse for example) we believe that although it is possible to go through probate pro se, it is not advisable.

Intestate Deceased

(Pembroke Pines)

My spouse of ten years died recently. This has left me having to pay for all the bills myself and all of the money we had was in his bank account. He did not have me on the bank account. How can I access his bank account?

Answer: I'm sorry for your loss. 
by: FALDP Staff 

First let me extend condolences. Losing someone is difficult enough without having to go to battle with the bank. You may be able to withdraw at least enough money to be reimbursed for funeral expenses and last medical bills by going through a process called "Disposition of Personal Property Without Administration" under Florida Statute Chapter 735.301.

My aunt died without a will.

Before my aunt died she told me that there was money in her bank account, but she never said how much. The family has already paid for her funeral expenses. The clerk of court told me that we may be able to use a process for very small estates called disposition of personal property without administration. What is that exactly? And what else do I need to know? Do I need a lawyer for this?

Answer: Died intestate. 

When someone dies without a will it is called dying "intestate". You may be able to access your deceased aunt's bank account by going through a process called - Disposition of Personal Property with No Administration. To use that process the entire estate must be less than $6000. Look up Florida Statutes 735.301 and 732.402 to learn more.

Order of Summary Administration??? I'm confused.


I live in Brevard County and my uncle died and left his estate and other possessions in his will to people but he owed out a lot of money in debts. The court told me to do the probate process or order of summary administration process and I am just confused by it all. Can you help?

Answer: Confused. 

My best suggestion is that if you are confused and your uncle left behind a lot of debt -- go see an attorney. You, as personal representative, may be found responsible for certain debts if you go through a Summary Administration of Estate.

Can I represent my mother's estate?

(Vero Beach)

I'm just trying to find out some information. People and websites seem to say different things about this. Can I represent my mother's estate? She died three weeks ago, and she had a will.

Summary Administration of Estate 

by: FALDP Staff 

Yes you can represent your mother's estate under certain circumstances. There is a process in Florida called a "Summary Administration of Estate" which is designed to probate small estates. A small estate is that the entire value of the estate is less than $75,000.

Order of Summary Administration

Where can I find the order of summary administration form for Florida? Can I download the order of summary administration form for Florida?

Answer - Order of Summary Administration 
by: J.L. 

Locating the forms for Summary Administration is not easy. Although apparently it is perfectly fine for a family member or heir to do the paperwork and file it,I had to do some digging when I did my dad's estate. 

The following is posted on the Pinellas County site:

Summary Administration:
"May be filed when the value of the entire estate subject to administration does not exceed $75,000.
(Summary Administration does not require the appointment of a personal representative).

A Petition for Summary Administration can be filed by any beneficiary or nominated personal representative in the decedent’s will, or by an attorney representing that petitioner(s). If the petitioner chooses to proceed without an attorney, he may research the requirements and find necessary forms for filing a Summary Administration at the *law library." 

So your first step is to go to the law library, that's what I did. The law clerks there were very helpful and I found the forms that I needed.

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