Representation of Florida Personal Representatives
In Florida, a personal representative is appointed to administer an estate. When the deceased leaves a will, the will typically contains a provision appointing a specific person to serve as personal representative. When there is no will, a personal representative will be appointed, with preference given to a surviving spouse.
Who Can Serve as a Personal Representative in Florida?
The technical requirements for the appointment of a personal representative are very limited. The personal representative must be at least 18 years of age, must not have been convicted of a felony, and must be physically and mentally able to fulfill the obligations of a personal representative. In addition, the personal representative must be a resident of the state of Florida, unless he or she is a close relative such as a spouse, parent, child, or sibling.
Beyond those few restrictions, a testator may choose anyone to serve as personal representative. Most often, this will be a close relative or friend.
Duties of a Florida Personal Representative
Acting as a personal representative is a serious responsibility. The personal representative has a fiduciary duty to manage the estate for the good of the heirs and may be personally responsible if he or she acts irresponsibly or in bad faith.
Some of the specific duties of the personal representative include:
- Serving notice on interested parties
- Taking possession of and inventorying estate assets
- Publishing a Notice to Creditors
- Ascertaining and paying outstanding debts
- Selling assets as necessary to pay debts of the estate or make distributions
- Collecting outstanding receivables
- Filing a tax return on behalf of the estate
- Legally closing the estate
The personal representative is accountable to the probate court and, indirectly, to the beneficiaries of the estate. For example, when selling off an asset to pay estate debts or make distributions to heirs, the personal representative must ensure that fair value is received for that asset.
Fulfilling these obligations can be daunting for a personal representative. An experienced Florida probate attorney can be the best resource when it comes to navigating the complex duties of a personal representative.
Get Help from an Experienced Probate Attorney
If you have been nominated as a personal representative in a family member’s will or are considering petitioning for appointment as personal representative of an intestate estate, give yourself the benefit of a knowledgeable advocate as early in the process as possible.
You can take the first step right now by filling out the form or calling (386) 272-7445 to schedule a consultation.
They are well organized, detail oriented, and always looking for the best solution to the client's situation (not just the easy fix).- Chris B.
It gave me peace of mind and when I return I will go to him for my Will.- Lauri B.
Thomas Upchurch and his team have been remarkable in helping me take care of my grandmother's estate needs and Medicaid application to get her the care she deserves.- Ashley M.
I have had the privilege of working with Mr. Upchurch on behalf of numerous shared clients over the years. Each and every client has always expressed to me their thankfulness that Thomas Upchurch was involved in their case.- Ron Z.
I was highly impressed with Mr. Upchurch's skills and integrity, and feel very fortunate to have had him as our family's legal representative.- Gregory H.
Thomas and his staff were so helpful and professional which really helped my family and I when we didn't know what to do.- Maggie
Upchurch Law, and particularly Crystal Lukes (Legal Assistant), could not have been more competent, informative, pleasant to work with and aggressive in pursing a Probate close in a timely fashion.- Dorothy K.
Attorney Thomas Upchurch is professional, efficient, and knowledgeable of both probate litigation and estate planning.- Susan S.