What is a personal representative?
Pursuant to Florida law, the personal representative is the person, bank or trust company appointed by the court to administer the estate.
What are the Duties and Responsibilities of Personal Representatives?
The personal representative of the estate is directed by the court to administer the estate pursuant to Florida law. The personal representative is obligated to:
- Identify, gather, value and safeguard probate assets.
- Publish a notice to creditors in a local newspaper authorized to publish legal notices in that county. (Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Daily Business Review(s) frequently serve this publication requirement in South Florida Probate cases).
- Conduct a diligent search to locate known or reasonably ascertainable creditors and serve them with notice as potential creditors and give them notice of the time in which they must file their statement of claim with the probate court.
- Give notice or obtain waivers from doing so from the surviving spouse if any and other beneficiaries or heirs and giving notice of requirements to file any objections relating to the estate.
- Object to improper claims and defend the estate from such suits. If determined to owe, pay any such valid debts.
- File tax returns and pay any taxes which the estate owes or the decedent owed.
- Employ necessary and appropriate professionals to assist with the estate administration. Each estate will vary; Some advisors which may be needed include accountants, appraisers and investment advisors.
- Pay administrative expenses.
- Distribute statutory amounts or assets to the surviving spouse or family.
- Distribute the assets to the estate beneficiaries and petition to close the estate.