When someone passes away in Florida or while owning assets in Florida, then the estate of the decedent will go through the Florida probate process. Part of this process includes the appointing of a Florida personal representative to oversee the affairs of the estate.
The personal representative is usually appointed in the deceased’s last will & testament. However, if the person died without a will or the person named in the will is not legally qualified to serve as a personal representative, then the Court will appoint a Florida personal representative for the estate. Ideally, this will be the deceased spouse. If the deceased does not have a spouse or the spouse is unable or unwilling to act as the personal representative for the estate, then the Court will appoint a person close to the decedent.
A personal representative can be an individual, a bank, or a trust company, subject to certain restrictions. A personal representative holds a fiduciary duty to the estate and the heirs of the estate. This means they can be held liable to the beneficiaries for any harm suffered as a result of the estate and the probate process not being properly executed.
People who cannot serve as the personal representative of an estate include:
- Convicted felons
- A person who is not a resident of Florida and is not related to the deceased
A personal representative is legally required to hire an attorney to represent them through the probate process. If you have been named as the personal representative in the will of a deceased loved one, or if you are close to the deceased and feel that the Court should appoint you as the personal representative of the estate, then contact Boyer Law Firm’s probate attorneys today.