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BERGMAN & JACOBS - Attorneys at Law



Bergman & Jacobs’s has represented the beneficiaries of decedents in the administration and ultimate distribution of their estates. We are familiar with the probate court rules and administrative process in order to assist in having an estate administered timely for the benefit of all beneficiaries.  As part of our civil practice, we have filed and litigated claims against estates for the benefit of creditors.  We have also successfully defended personal representatives and trustees on numerous occasions.


Under Florida law, there are four types of probate administration.  Each probate proceeding will depend on the unique circumstances of his or her estate, including the size of the estate.

1.  Formal Administration                                                                   

  • Formal Administration is Florida’s traditional form of probate. Formal administration starts with a petition to open the estate and an appointment of a Personal Representative (or PR; known as an “executor” or “administrator” in other states). Once appointed, the PR’s job is to fully administer the estate by securing assets, determining and settling debt with creditors and ultimately distributing what’s left to the beneficiaries.

  • Formal Administration is required when non-exempt assets exceed $75,000 (and less than 2 years have passed since date of death).

2.  Summary Administration                                                               

  • Summary administration is an abbreviated probate process. It only applies if the value of the estate is less than $75,000 (exclusive of exempt assets, ex: homestead property) and all of the decedent’s debts are paid, or if the decedent has been dead for more than two years.

3.  Ancillary Administration                                                                

  • Ancillary or supplementary administration is usually necessary when the decedent [the person who died owning the property] dies owning property within the state of Florida, and a primary or domiciliary probate has been commenced in another state.

4.  Disposition without Administration                                                   

  • No administration is required or formal proceedings instituted upon the estate of a decedent leaving only personal property exempt under the provision governing exempt property, personal property exempt from the claims of creditors under the Constitution of Florida, and 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.

"At his best, man is the noblest of all animals; separated from

law and justice he is the worst."

- Aristotle

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