A personal representative is a fiduciary appointed by the judge to be in charge of the administration of a decedent’s estate. In Florida, the term “personal representative” is used instead of such terms as executor, executrix, administrator and administratrix. A personal representative is under a duty to settle and distribute the estate of the decedent in accordance with the terms of the decedent’s will, if any, and the Florida Probate Code, as expeditiously and efficiently as is consistent with the best interests of the estate.
More specifically, a personal representative must:
- Identify, gather, value and safeguard the decedent’s probate assets;
- Publish a “Notice to Creditors” in a local newspaper in order to give notice to potential claimants to file any claims against the estate in the manner required by law;
- Serve a “Notice of Administration” to provide information about the probate estate administration and notice of the procedures required to be followed by those having any objection to the administration of the decedent’s probate estate;
- Conduct a diligent search to locate “known or reasonably ascertainable” creditors, and notify these creditors of the time by which their claims must be filed;
- Object to improper claims, and defend suits brought on such claims;
- Pay valid claims;
- File tax returns and pay any taxes properly due;
- Employ professionals to assist in the administration of the probate estate, for example, attorneys, certified public accountants, appraisers and investment advisers;
- Pay expenses of administering the probate estate;
- Pay statutory amounts to the decedent’s surviving spouse or family;
- Distribute probate assets to beneficiaries;
- Close the probate estate.
A personal representative is authorized to hire an attorney to assist with the administration of the estate and is not required to use their own funds for any costs associated the administration of the decedent’s estate.
For additional information, please contact BaskinFleece at 727.572.4545.
This blog is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. Because the law is continually changing, some provisions in this blog may be out of date. It is always best to consult an attorney about your legal rights and responsibilities in your particular case.