Florida Probate Statute 733.307: Succession of Administration
The job of the personal representative is to manage the estate of a decedent and ultimately transfer the decedent’s assets to family, friends, and others, based on the terms of the decedent’s will, if any, or based on Florida law. Because of the enormous responsibility that the personal representative has, Florida has established rules related to who is qualified to serve as personal representative and a process for appointment. One complication to the administration process would be that the personal representative passes away during the pendency of the administration process. While someone will be appointed to serve as personal representative of the deceased personal representative’s estate, according to Florida Statutes, section 733.307- Succession of administration, that person would not succeed in the deceased personal representative’s role. To understand the personal representative appointment process, contact an experienced estate administration lawyer at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates.Who may Serve as a Florida Personal Representative
The Florida Probate Code sets forth the qualifications for being a Florida personal representative as well as factors that would disqualify a person. In order to act as a personal representative of an estate, you must be at least 18 years old. In Florida 18 is the age of majority. At that age a person is considered to have the maturity and skill to manage his (or her) own affairs, and is legally able to enter into contracts and file lawsuits. In addition, while exceptions are made for relatives of a decedent, generally speaking, in order to be appointed a personal representative, the person must be a Florida resident. There are practical reasons for this requirement. Because many of the activities of the personal representative requirement him to be able to easily access estate property, and because the job will necessitate the personal representative to go to probate court, it makes sense for the personal representative to live relatively close to estate property and the probate court overseeing the estate.
If you would like to serve as personal representative of a loved one’s estate, you must file a petition with the Probate Division of the Circuit Court in the county were the decedent resided. Only after your petition is approved and letters of administration issued will you have the legal authority to act on behalf of the decedent’s estate. To learn more about the process for petitioning the court to be appointed a personal representative, contact an estate administration lawyer.
Despite being 18 and a Florida resident, there are factors that would disqualify you from being appointed personal representative, including:
- Mental or physical incapacity. Section 733.303- Persons not qualified of the Florida Probate Code requires that a personal representative have the mental and physical capacity to undertake the tasks required to administer an estate.
- Committing a felony. If you are a convicted felon, the probate court will not issue you letters of administration.
If the appointed personal representative passes away before the administration process has concluded, then there is a process for succession of administration. If there is a co-personal representative, then that person will be permitted to continue with the administration process. If the will made provisions for a successor personal administrator, then as long as the person is qualified and willing to serve, the court will issue him (or her) letters. As an experienced estate administrator will explain, in the absence of a co-personal representative of a nominated successor, anyone who is eligible based on the preference in appointment can petition the court to be appointed.
However, as is made clear by Florida Statutes, section 733.307- Succession of administration, the personal representative of the estate of a deceased personal representative would not be authorized to administer the estate of the first decedent.Related Statutory Provisions
- Trust companies and other corporations and associations: § 733.305, Fla. Stat.
- Effect of appointment of debtor: § 733.306, Fla. Stat.
- Administrator ad litem: § 733.308, Fla. Stat.
- Executor de son tort : § 733.309, Fla. Stat.
- Personal representative not qualified : § 733.3101, Fla. Stat.
The personal representative of the estate of a deceased personal representative is not authorized to administer the estate of the first decedent. On the death of a sole or surviving personal representative, the court shall appoint a successor personal representative to complete the administration of the estate.Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates
If you have questions the procedure for the appointment of a successor personal representative, including the requirements of Florida Statutes, section 733.307- Succession of administration, it is important that you discuss your concerns with an experienced estate administration attorney. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have over two decades of experience representing clients in matters related to probate, fiduciaries, estate litigation, and estate administration and understand the rules of the Florida Probate Code. We can help. Contact us attorneys at 561-710-4000 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case.