Often when someone dies, they have money in a bank account that does not have a joint owner or a payable on death designation (POD). These banks often tell family members that they need “Letters of Administration” to distribute the funds. While this may be trust in some cases, most Florida Probate Courts will only issue Letters of Administration for Formal Probate Cases. If the decedent has been dead for more than 2 years or the assets subject to probate are less than $75,000 then you qualify under the Florida Probate code for a abbreviated probate process. This small estate administration is called Florida Summary Administration.
Once the court enters an order of summary administration, the court order can be used to collect and distribute the money in a bank account or other assets of the decedent.
Even if you qualify for the summary administration there may be reasons why a formal administration is preferable. You should discuss all the issue dealing with the assets, actions of the beneficiaries, and actions of fiduciaries while the decedent was alive with a Florida Probate Attorney to discuss which options make the most sense for you and your family.
Jacksonville Probate Lawyer, David Goldman has put together a Florida Probate Handbook that is being offered free to readers and visitors of his websites. If you would like a copy, visit the Free Florida Probate Handbook web page, fill out the form, and one will be sent to you within 24 hours by email.