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Florida Personal Representative

Probate Information • Aug 14, 2022
post about Florida Personal Representative

Where did running the estate all go wrong? A Florida personal representative is the executor of an estate. When one dies, there are special rules for dealing with property and money. And “who gets what.” Why? ‘Cause that’s what the law says! Running probate is serious business. Think of it like a little business but with a lot more duties on the part of the executor. Here’s what you need to know about being one. (To read about estate beneficiary rights in Florida, CLICK HERE.)

A Florida personal representative is like a trustee or a CEO. #floridapersonalrepresentative

How do I run a probate?

Handling a probate requires a number of things. Here’s a quick list.

  • A personal representative in Florida is called an “executor” or “estate executor” elsewhere.
  • Your job is that of a fiduciary. Like a trustee.
  • You need to help your beneficiaries and acknowledge proper creditors of the estate.
  • Generally, you gather assets of the deceased Florida resident.
  • You pay off her just debts.
  • File proper court documents, pay the final income taxes, disclose relevant information.
  • Pay your service providers and expenses of administration.
  • Distribute the money to your beneficiaries (that’s right! While beneficiaries of Florida estates have lots of rights, they get paid last.)
  • Close the estate.
  • Sounds easy, right? (To read more about estate administration, you can read the Florida Statutes).
  • It can be with the right team in place like good appraisers, lawyers and accountants. Click here to read the FLORIDA PROBATE RULES

Transparency + Disclosure — no hiding the ball or running the estate in secret

So, why do so many estate beneficiaries and family members complain about the one in charge of the estate?

And why would anyone want that job?

Some executors are, admittedly, control freaks who want to be in charge. Others claim they want to “follow the wishes” of their deceased mother or father. But wanting to assume a leadership position is not a terrible thing. “Where personal representatives often get in trouble” explains Florida estate litigator John Pankauski “is that they don’t share information.” Pankauski should know. His team of lawyers try probate litigation cases and handle those appeals.

You can’t run the estate in secret, or hide the ball. In fact, Pankauski points out, the Florida executor is a fiduciary, like a trustee. With LOTS of duties. Including disclosure of relevant information.