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Can a judge settle an estate without the beneficiaries' input?

Ocala, FL |

My parent's estate started out at 150k but the attorney's fee has left it at about 15k and it is not settled yet. Does a judge now decide all matters because the estate has gone under a certain dollar figure? And the beneficiaries have no more say? Is this called a summary admin?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. No. A judge would generally only get involved if the parties petition the court's direction or if the estate is supervised. You have a very unusual situation and you would likely benefit from at least consulting with an attorney because it does not make sense why the attorney fees would chew up 90% of the estate.

    James Frederick

    ***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ***************************************** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state. I hope you our answer helpful!


  2. The judge's responsibility is to distribute the estate in accordance with the last will and testament (if there is one) or Florida intestate law (if there isn't a will), and to be sure that all attorneys' fees are reasonable. Beneficiaries are involved in the probate proceeding, either through formal notice or waiving formal notice. If you have an objection, you should hire an attorney and file documents to let the court know about it.

    Don't take anything written here as legal advice.I am happy to offer my thoughts free of charge, and I would welcome the opportunity to speak with you about representing you. Please be aware, though, that at this point we have not established an attorney-client relationship. An attorney client relationship requires me to agree in writing to represent you. Unless that happens, you shouldn’t take anything I say to be legal advice or make any decisions based on it.


  3. A Summary Administration is for estates with less than $75,000 in value along with homestead property. The Judge does not decide where the assets are to go, he or she just ensures that all beneficiaries have been given proper notice and that the distribution is in compliance with Florida statutes or the Last Will and Testament.

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