What Are the Responsibilities of a Personal Representative in a Formal Administration in Probate?
Attorney L. Reed Bloodworth is the Founder and CEO of Bloodworth Law, based in Orlando, Florida, with offices in Winter Haven.
Today, Reed answers the question: what are the responsibilities of a personal representative in a formal administration in probate?
What is a Personal Representative?
The personal representative is the person named to be in charge of the administration of the decedent’s probate estate. The term personal representative is the same as executor, executrix, administrator, and administratrix.
Personal Representative’s Role
The personal representative has a legal duty to administer the probate estate according to Florida law. Accordingly, a personal representative must provide the following services:
- Identify, gather, value, and safeguard the decedent’s probate assets.
- Publish a “Notice to Creditors” in a local newspaper to notice potential claimants to file claims in the manner required by law.
- Serve a “Notice of Administration” to provide information about the probate estate administration and procedures required to be followed by those having any objection to the administration of the decedent’s probate estate, unless a waiver is signed.
- Conduct a diligent search to locate known or reasonably ascertainable creditors and notify these creditors of the time by which their claims must be filed.
- Object to improper claims, and defend suits brought on such claims.
- Pay valid claims.
- File tax returns and pay any taxes properly due.
- Employ professionals to assist in administering the probate estate. For example, attorneys, certified public accountants, appraisers, and investment advisers.
- Obtain an EIN to open an estate account.
- Pay expenses of administering the probate estate.
- Distribute probate assets to beneficiaries.
- Close the probate estate.
It’s never been more important that your probate and estate planning documents comply with Florida law. Talk with an experienced attorney to protect you, your family, and your loved ones.
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