When a person passes away owning property in Florida, he or she leaves
behind a “probate estate.” Florida law requires that someone needs to be appointed
the estate’s personal representative, who can be a family member
or close friend of the dearly departed, as well as a trust company.
The personal representative is an official officer of the court. He or
she must be over 18 years old, a Florida resident, or the spouse, sibling,
parent, child, or close relative of the deceased.
The following are the responsibilities of a personal representative in Florida:
Identify and locate estate property. Personal representatives must find, identify, protect, store, and establish
the value of all assets included in the estate. They must send out a “Notice
of Administration,” which provides details on the administration
of the estate under Florida law.
Notify creditors. Personal representatives must contact creditors who have a right to be
paid for debts incurred by the decedent by filing claims with the estate.
Take care of taxes. Personal representatives must pay any taxes due and owed, as well as prepare
and file the estate’s final tax returns.
Pay debts. When all debts have been confirmed, the personal representative must pay
them, including the expenses that are incurred during the estate administration.
Distribute assets. As soon as the personal representative deals with the creditors, he or
she needs to pay the amounts mandated by the Last Will and Testament to
Close the estate. Once all debts have been paid and all assets distributed, the personal
representative must finalize the legal closing of the estate.
If you have had a death in the family and are facing difficulties with
the probate process,
contact our Jacksonville probate lawyer at
Owenby Law, P.A. today.