Understanding Summary Administration

Similar to a small estate, summary administration is another abbreviated process available in the probate court under certain limited situations.

For a variety of reasons, the same person wears maybe both the Personal Representative as well as the only heir at law or devisee under the Will. Often this arises when a person dies with little family remaining (think only child), or, more commonly, when the first spouse dies giving the survivor everything in their Will.  After a point in the probate process, this individual may be the person both sending and receiving all notices regarding the estate.  That seems a little silly—sending a notice to yourself.

Fortunately, the Probate Code allows for a shortcut: summary administration. In summary administration, after certain requirements are met (generally notice to creditors), the Personal Representative files a document with the Court called a “closing statement” instead of the traditional closing documents. The court then waits one year and, if no claims or proceedings are pending, the Personal Representative’s appointment will terminate. This streamlined process reduces paperwork and expedites the process for sole heirs who also serve as the Personal Representative.

To qualify for summary administration, certain requirements must be met.  An experienced probate attorney can help determine if this is an option for your loved one’s estate. Please contact us with any questions or to schedule a consultation!