One of the most common questions deals with the personal representative and their role in a Florida probate case.
The personal representative is the person, bank or trust company appointed by the court to be in charge of the administration of the estate. The generic term “personal representative” has replaced such terms as “executor, executrix, administrator and administratrix.”
The personal representative 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, giving notice to file claims and other papers relating to the estate.
• Serve a “notice of administration” on specific persons, giving information about the estate administration and giving notice of requirements to file any objections relating to the estate.
• Conduct a diligent search to locate “known or reasonably ascertainable” creditors, and notify them 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.
• Pay taxes.
• Employ necessary professionals to assist.
• Pay administrative expenses.
• Distribute statutory amounts or assets to the surviving spouse or family.
• Distribute assets to beneficiaries.
• Close probate administration.