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Florida Small Estate Affidavit

A Florida small estate affidavit is used by beneficiaries looking to claim, with few court proceedings, the assets of a person who has died.
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How to File for Disposition of Personal Property (3 steps)

Petition for Disposition of Personal Property Without Administration: PDF

1. Assess Final Expenses

Because the disposition is only available to cover expenses, it’s essential to know what costs were incurred. This can include medical bills and funeral expenses. Figure out whether any money is still owed, and whether any of the decedent’s heirs or successors who have already paid expenses will be seeking reimbursement.

2. Gather Documents

A certified copy of the death certificate, the original will (if there is one), copies of funeral and medical bills, and notarized consent forms from people who have paid final expenses but are allowing the petitioner to receive the assets must also be filed.

3. File the Form

The form should be submitted to the clerk in the county in which the decedent lived. Use this Court Locator to see where to find the appropriate location.

How to File for Summary Administration (4 steps)

Petition for Summary Administration: PDF, MS Word, ODT

1. Evaluate Assets

Summary administration is only available for estates with a total value of less than $75,000. Make a list of all of the decedent’s property, and ensure that the total value is less than this. Florida, unlike many other states, allows real property (meaning land and fixtures) to be included. When calculating, deduct the value of any debts or encumbrances.

2. Notify Beneficiaries

If the decedent had a will, this will require examining it. Verify that the will did not call for full administration. (If it did, summary administration is not an option.) Then look at who is named as a beneficiary. All beneficiaries must be notified and, if possible, sign the completed petition. If the decedent died without a will, then consult the Florida rules for intestate succession to see who is eligible for distribution.

3. Notify Creditors

Petitions for summary administration may only be submitted after creditors have been properly notified. Known creditors should be sought out, informed of the petition, and any remaining debt settled, if possible, before the petition is filed. This requirement also includes publishing a notice in a newspaper adhering to the requirements described above, to reach unknown creditors. The petition may be filed once the notice has run for two consecutive weeks, and creditors have up to three months after the petition has been filed to submit claims against the estate.

4. File the Petition

The petition should be submitted to the clerk in the county in which the decedent lived. Use this Court Locator to find the appropriate location. The petition may be filed at any time that it qualifies. A court will evaluate the petition, prove the will if there is one, and enter orders for distribution.