paper and gavel icon representing probate


Probate is the legal process of administering the estate of a deceased person, including distributing assets to beneficiaries and settling debts and taxes. It provides a framework for resolving estate matters under court supervision. The process takes time, and generally requires you to retain an attorney and maintain strict compliance with the law. Our probate department can help you understand whether probate is needed for an estate, guide you through the probate process, and help you avoid costly and time-consuming pitfalls.


Probate Administration

Full (or formal) administration is the default method of probating an estate.  Alternative methods, including summary administration, ancillary administration, disposition without administration and admitting a will to record, are less common, and used only in specific circumstances.  A typical probate case starts by admitting a will (if any) and asking the Court to name a personal representative.  The representative is empowered to carry out the administration of the probate case, which has two main goals:  first, to identify all assets and lawful debts of the deceased, and second to pay those debts and distribute assets.

Testate or Intestate

A Last Will and Testament, or Will, directs what happens in probate.  If a valid and properly executed Will is submitted to the Court, we say that the estate is Testate.  A probate without a Will is Intestate.  Generally a Testate Estate will be a more smooth and organized process.  However, sometimes the deceased person was not able, for whatever reason, to make a Will.  Our probate attorneys can work with you to make sure that Intestate Estate can still be administered.

Summary Administration

Summary administration is a simplified probate process available for small estates with limited assets and no creditors or disputes, or for older estates. Summary administration can be more efficient than full administration. We can help evaluate if your loved one’s estate qualifies for this streamlined proceeding.

Ancillary Administration

Ancillary administration occurs when a deceased person owned property in a state other than their primary residence. In such cases, ancillary probate proceedings may be necessary to transfer ownership of the out-of-state property to beneficiaries. Whether your loved one’s probate is occurring in Florida and needs ancillary administration in another state or their probate is occurring elsewhere and an ancillary proceeding is needed in Florida, we can help.