A Florida Personal Representative is appointed by the probate judge to settle the decedent’s (person who died) estate and distribute the property to the beneficiaries.
When an Orange Park resident dies without leaving a will (dies intestate), Florida Statutes, Section 733.301 provides for the preference in appointment of a personal representative. The order of appointment is:
- Surviving spouse;
- Person selected by a majority in interest of the heirs;
- Heir nearest in degree;
A guardian of the property of minor children may serve if qualified, or may select the personal representative.
Where a person died intestate, with no surviving spouse, leaving two minor children, a Florida court reversed the appointment of the decedent’s father as personal representative, instead of the individual chosen by the heirs (the children). The Florida court stated that there was no surviving spouse and the person selected by both heirs, acting through the guardians of their property, was authorized and qualified under Florida Law to act as the personal representative.
If you have been named as a Personal Representative in a will or you believe you qualify for appointment when there is no will, it is important to speak with an Orange Park Probate Attorney, about the Personal Representative duties and rights under the law.