In general, a personal representative (“PR”) is the person who distributes the property of a deceased person.
A person can become a PR for a loved one in a couple of different ways. First, people who write wills (“testators”) will usually name someone in their will that they want to be the PR. Testators like to name PRs in their wills so they know someone they trust will be taking care of their last wishes.
However, not everyone makes a will. For people who pass away without a will, Florida has a statute that lists the people a court would choose first to be the PR. The list starts with a person nominated by a will, then a person selected by the majority of the beneficiaries (the people who are going to inherit), and then those people most closely related to the deceased person who are the best qualified. For example, if Mom has three children, the three children can decide together to make Child #1 the PR, and the court will likely choose Child #1 to be PR as long as he or she meets the other requirements.
Florida has additional requirements to be appointed as PR. First, Florida residency is required if the person is not a family member; however, family members from out-of-state can serve as PR. second, a PR cannot have any felony convictions. Third, a PR has to have the capacity to perform his or her duties. Fourth, a PR has to be at least 18 years old.
Of course, people who have a large estate can choose a bank, corporation, or trust company to be their PR. Usually, one of these types of entities is chosen if the estate contains complicated assets or transactions such as an estate with a trust, securities, or multiple pieces of real property (land or houses).
Once a PR is appointed, the court issues Letters of Administration, which give the PR the power to administer the estate. The PR will file a Notice to Creditors in some instances and pay all final bills and debts of the deceased person. Once that is done, the PR has other duties to prepare the property for distribution such selling houses and other property, collecting items, making claims against life insurance, etc. The PR is also responsible for filing the deceased person’s taxes for the last time. In some cases, the PR may have to file a Federal Estate and Gift Tax Return.
After all the property has been properly distributed, the PR will be discharged from his or her duties, and the probate will be closed.
For more information on Personal Representative In Florida, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (727) 827-7777 today.