Florida Disclaimer of Interest and Effect on PR

Qarcia v. Morrow, 954 So.2d 656 (Fla. 3rd DCA April 4,2007)

This case involves competing petitions for appointment as personal representative filed by a decedent’s grandson with statutory priority to be appointed as personal representative and the former wife of the decedent’s son. After his mother’s death, and while in prison, the decedent’s son acquiesced in a state court order requiring him to transfer his mother’s condominium unit and certain financial accounts to his ex-wife to satisfy past-due child support payments. The son later executed a disclaimer of the interest in his mother’s estate and the grandson filed that disclaimer in support of his petition to be appointed as personal representative. The former spouse argued the fling of the disclaimer was an effort to work a fraud on the court and, without an evidentiary hearing, the court appointed the former spouse as personal representative. The appellate court reversed the decision and remanded for a further evidentiary hearing to determine whether the grandson “lacks the necessary qualities and characteristics” to be personal representative.

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