In disposing of an underpayment without administration, Fla. Stat. Ann. § 735.301
and Rule 5.420 of Florida Probate Rules govern. This method is available only to estates
consisting entirely of personal property which is either exempt from creditors’ claims
under section 732.402 or the State constitution, or nonexempt personal property the
value of which does not exceed the sum of the amount of preferred funeral expenses
and reasonable and necessary medical and hospital expenses of the last 60 days of
the last illness.
Section 735.301 amended in 1977, redefining “exempt property” for determining estate
size. If there is a question as to whether a “no administration order” is appropriate,
submit the case to the Regional Attorney as constitutional interpretation may be required.
Section 735.301(2) provides that “upon informal application by affidavit, letter or
otherwise by any interested party . . . the court, by letter of other writing under
the seal of the court, may authorize the payment, transfer, or disposition of the
personal property, tangible or intangible, belonging to the decedent to those persons
entitled.” Part (3) states “any person, firm, or corporation paying, delivering, or
transferring property under the authorization shall be forever discharged from liability
An underpayment is intangible personal property of the decedent, and, as with summary
administration, a copy of the Court order would entitle the claimant/distributee to
receive the underpayment. Unlike the summary administration situations, however, there
may be no express designation of a personal representative and “those persons entitled”
mentioned in 735.301(2) must be determined on a case-by-case basis by reference to
the Court order.