In Florida the types of Probate procedures are:
Summary Administration can be utilized if the value of the estate is $75,000.00 or if the decedent is dead for more than two years. The persons who receive the estate assets remain liable to creditors of the decedent for two years after date of death unless a Notice to Creditors is published.
Formal Administration is required for estates involving more than $75,000.00. It is a court supervised proceeding where a will is admitted, a personal representative is appointed, Notice of Administration is sent to interested persons (surviving spouse, beneficiaries, etc.) and a Notice to Creditors is published to identify unknown creditors and sent to all known creditors. After the expiration of ninety days, creditors who fail to file a Statement of Claim lose their right to collect on the decedent’s debt. Assets are collected, debts and taxes are paid and after the distribution of Estate assets is made the Estate is closed and the personal representative is relieved of all duties and liabilities to the Estate.
All of a decedent’s assets together make up the decedent’s estate. For estate tax reporting purposes the IRS defines estate as the total collection of a decedent’s assets whether or not they pass through probate. After an estate’s assets have been valued, if the decedent’s gross estate exceeds the federal estate tax credit exemption amount, (for 2008, Two Million dollars ), then a Form 706 (Estate Tax Return) must be filed with the IRS and a copy forwarded to the Florida Department of Revenue.