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Florida Probate Statute 733.503: Appointment of Successor Upon Resignation

For a variety of reasons, a personal representative appointed by the Florida probate court to manage the settling of a decedent’s estate, may have to resign before the process is complete. If this happens, there are several steps that must be followed, including the appointment of a successor. If you would like to learn more the procedure involved when a personal representative resigns, including the requirements of Florida Statutes, section 733.503, Appointment of successor upon resignation, contact an experienced Fort Lauderdale estate administration lawyer at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates.

Appointment of Florida Personal Representative

If a personal representative decides to resign, leaving the job empty, another personal representative must be appointed. Anyone who is interested must petition the probate court. Under the Florida Probate Act, in order to be appointed a personal representative, there are three basic requirements:

  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Must be mentally and physically capable of perform the duties of the job
  • Must not have been convicted of a felony

As an experienced Fort Lauderdale estate administration lawyer, will explain, the court must look at both who is qualified as well as who has priority. In the case of a testate estate, the person named in the will by testator has top preference. As long as the person is qualified and willing to serve, the court will grant his or her petition. Next in priority would be the person selected by a majority in interest of the persons entitled to the estate. Next would be a beneficiary under the will. If more than one beneficiary petitions the court will appoint the person who is best qualified.

In the case of intestate estates, the order of priority for appointment as personal representative is:

  • The surviving spouse.
  • The person selected by a majority in interest of the heirs.
  • The heir nearest in degree. If more than one applies, the court may select the one best qualified.

In either a testate or an intestate estate, if no one wants to serve as personal representative, the court will appoint someone who works for the court or someone who is employed by any probate judge.

Appointment of a Curator

If before a new personal representative is appointed there are management duties that must be taken care of, the court may appoint a curator. A “curator” is a person who is appointed by the probate court to take charge of an estate until a personal representative is formally appointed. There are many reasons that curator is appointed. Typically the reason is associated with a circumstance that results in a delay in the appointment for the personal representative, such as a dispute over the qualifications of a personal representative. However, a curator might also be appointed in situations where the personal representative resigns, is removed by the probate court, or is suspended. Essentially, as a estate administration lawyer in Fort Lauderdale would explain, for a curator to be appointed, there must not already be a personal representative in place with the active letters of administration.

Related Statutory Provisions
  1. Resignation of personal representative: § 733.502, Fla. Stat.
  2. Surrender of assets after resignation: § 733.5035, Fla. Stat.
  3. Accounting and discharge following resignation: § 733.5036, Fla. Stat.
FL. Stat, Section 733.503- Appointment of Successor Upon Resignation

A personal representative may resign.  After notice to all interested persons, the court may accept the resignation and then revoke the letters of the resigning personal representative if the interests of the estate are not jeopardized by the resignation.  The acceptance of the resignation shall not exonerate the personal representative or the surety from liability.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

If you have questions related to the resignation of a personal representative, including the requirements of Florida Statutes, section 733.503- Appointment of successor upon resignation, it is important that you discuss your concerns with an experienced estate administration attorney serving Fort Lauderdale. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have significant experience representing clients before the Florida Probate Court in complex matters related to the administration of estates. We can help. Contact us attorneys at 561-710-4000 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case.