Jones Gaglio & Dennis, P.A.
Jones Gaglio & Dennis, P.A. 

Wills, Probate and Trusts

Whether you need to draft a Will or have Will probated, let the JGD team guide you through the process.

Probate administration is the procedure of transferring the assets of one who has died to the decedent’s heirs or beneficiaries.   Which process is required is determined based on the monetary value, complexity, or residence of the decedent and/or his/her property.  Talk to one of our experienced Panama City Probate Attorneys to go over the probate process more thoroughly.  

There are three forms of probate depending on the estate.

  • Formal Administration – This form of probate requires formal notice to creditors and applies to estates that have more than $75,000.00 worth of assets (excluding homestead property).  This process takes longer than summary administration.
  • Summary Administration - An estate qualifies for this shorter process if the estate has assets of less than $75,000 or the decedent passed more than two years prior to filing.
  • Ancillary Administration - This is an administration for out of state residents that have real property in Florida.

If the decedent was a Florida resident, the proper location to probate the estate is in the county of residence.  If the decedent was not a Florida resident, the estate can be administered in any county in which property was owned.


Why do we need Probate?

Without probate title to assets such as real property, bank accounts, boats and such, would remain in the name of the deceased.  Probate is the process in which a person’s assets are transferred to his/her heirs pursuant to the deceased’s wishes when there is a will or through intestate succession when there is no will.   


Do I have to open up a Probate proceeding even if my loved one had a will?

Yes.  People often believe that if there is a will there is no need for probate.   Whether or not the decedent did or did not have a will has no bearing on whether a probate proceeding needs to be filed.


Do I need to hire an attorney or can I do it myself?

In all but the smallest of estates an attorney is required in order to probate an estate.  If you have questions about whether or not your loved one’s estate requires and attorney call us and we can discuss your situation during a free consultation.


What is a Personal Representative?

Other states call this person the Executor, however in Florida we use the term Personal Representatives. The Personal Representative helps resolve the affairs of the deceased.  Contrary to what many believe the Personal Representative does not have much say in how the estate will be squared away.  The role of the Personal Representative is to carry out the wishes of the deceased as set forth in the will or pursuant to Florida Law.  There is very little discretion exercised by the Personal Representative in closing down an estate.


What are letters of administration?

This is the legal document that names the Personal Representative and gives them legal authority to act on behalf of the estate.  Typically this allows the person to talk with banks and investment institutions that have possession of some of the deceased’s property.


How are attorney’s fees paid?

There are multiple ways in which the attorney for an estate can be paid.  There are typical fee agreements where the attorney is paid on an hourly basis.  Other times a flat fee is agreed upon, normally for smaller estates.  At Jones Gaglio & Dennis we will work with our clients to find a solution that meets their needs.  Often times an arrangement can be made so that fees are paid after the estate is closed and the fees are part of the distribution of the estate, freeing the family from the worry of coming up with funds during a time of loss.

Have questions or would like to make an appointment? Call us at (850) 763-3999 or email us at

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Contact Us

After Hours



Panama City Office

Jones Gaglio & Dennis, P.A.

901 Grace Ave.

Panama City, FL 32401

(850) 763-3999


Walton County Office

Jones Gaglio & Dennis, P.A.

5597 US Hwy 98

Suite 201C

Santa Rosa Beach, FL  32459

(850) 622-3000

By appointment


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