Probate in Florida: Legal Duties of Personal Representatives (Part A)

Upon your death, a personal representative will be tasked with the administration of your probate estate. Generally, the personal representative for probate in Florida will be an individual, trust company or bank appointed by a judge. If you have any questions or concerns about who your personal representative will be, you should meet with an estate attorney in Fort Myers.

In other states, the personal representative may be referred to as administrator, executor, executrix, or administratrix, but the duties are basically the same. Your personal representative will have the legal responsibility of administering your probate estate according to Florida law.

Legal Duties of Your Personal Representative

The duties of your personal representative include: 
  • safeguarding your probate assets by identifying, gathering and valuing them;
  • ensuring that a "Notice to Creditors" is published locally in a newspaper to notify potential claimants that claims will need to be filed in a manner required by state law;
  • making sure a "Notice of Administration" is served to give information regarding the administration of the probate estate as well as to inform of the procedures that must be followed by anyone who has objections to the administration of the estate;
  • launching an investigation as to the whereabouts of  "known or reasonably ascertainable" creditors and informing them of the deadline for filing claims;
  • being on the lookout for improper claims and being prepared to defend any lawsuits pertaining to such claims;
  • paying all valid claims; and
  • making sure tax returns are filed and that any taxes due are paid. 
We'll discuss more duties of the personal representative on the next page, but as you can see, the responsibilities are significant. Since cases involving probate in Florida can be very difficult to navigate, it's advisable that you contact an estate attorney in Fort Myers to get your affairs in order. 
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