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Florida Probate Statute 733.5036: Accounting and Discharge Following Resignation

If a personal representative is no longer able to fulfill his (or her) duties as a personal representative, or is no longer qualified, then he may have to resign before the probate proceeding is over and the estate closed. If circumstances require the personal representative to resign, there are still procedures that he must follow to wrap up his work. If you would like to learn more about the steps involved when a personal representative resigns, including the requirements of Florida Statutes, section 733.5036, Accounting and discharge following resignation, contact an experienced Fort Lauderdale estate administration lawyer at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates, who understands the procedure for a personal representative resigning as well as the process for appointing a new personal representative.

Duties of a Florida Personal Representative

A personal representative is responsible for all activities related to winding up a decedent’s affairs and distributing the assets in his (or her) estate. The activities related to winding up an estate include:

  • Taking control of the assets in an estate. This involves finding and securing all estate assets. This may include locating real estate, find the deeds, securing the property, paying mortgages, leases, and generally managing the real estate. He must also take control of bank accounts and other financial accounts. The personal representative must also locate personal property such as jewelry, clothing, collectibles, and home furnishings. Because it is necessary for the personal representative to determine the amount of assets available to wind up the affairs of the estate, the personal representative may need to pay professional appraiser a reasonable fee to determine the value of some of the estate assets.
  • Paying estate bills. As a Fort Lauderdale estate administration lawyer will explain, the personal representative is also required to pay all estate debts including the debts owed by the decedent at the time of his death as well as expenses related to the management of the estate. In addition, the personal representative is required to file tax returns for both the decedent and the estate, and pay any taxes due. Because estate bills and expenses must be paid from estate assets, if the estate does not have sufficient liquid assets, the personal representative may need to sell assets.
  • Settling disputes. On occasion disputes develop during estate administration. Such disputes may be challenges to the validity of the will, disagreement between beneficiaries, disagreements between the personal representative and beneficiaries, or disputes between the estate and creditors. The personal representative must manage these disputes and settle them. In some cases the personal representative may need the assistance of an estate administration attorney in Fort Lauderdale to help resolve estate litigation. The personal representative is required to defend the estate against claims and pay only valid claims.
  • Distributing assets from the estate. Once all bills are paid and claims settled, the personal representative must distribute estate assets to the beneficiaries if there was a will, or to the decedent’s heirs.

Managing an estate can be a rigorous job. As a result a personal representative may find that he does not have the ability or desire to continue with the responsibilities. If the personal representative wants to resign, he must file a petition and submit it to the probate court. No notice is necessary. Upon accepting the resignation of a personal representative the court will revoke his letters of administration, legally ending his authority to act on behalf of the estate.

Despite resigning, under of Florida Statutes, section 733.5036, Accounting and discharge following resignation, a resigning personal representative must still file a final accounting of the activities he or she completed.

Related Statutory Provisions
  1. Resignation of personal representative: § 733.502, Fla. Stat.
  2. Appointment of successor upon resignation: § 733.503, Fla. Stat.
  3. Surrender of assets after resignation: § 733.5035, Fla. Stat.
FL. Stat, Section 733.5036- Accounting and Discharge Following Resignation
  1. A resigning personal representative shall file and serve a final accounting of the personal representative's administration.
  2. After determination and satisfaction of the liability, if any, of the resigning personal representative, after compensation of the personal representative and the attorney and other persons employed by the personal representative, and upon receipt of evidence that undistributed estate assets have been delivered to the successor fiduciary, the personal representative shall be discharged, the bond released, and the surety discharged.
Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

When a personal representative resigns, it is important that he (or she) follows the rules related to the resignation of a personal representative, including the requirements of Florida Statutes, section 733.5036- Accounting and discharge following resignation. The experienced estate administration attorney serving Fort Lauderdale at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have decades of experience representing clients in matters related to the fiduciaries, probate, and administration of estates and understand the requirements of Florida estate law. Contact us attorneys at 561-710-4000 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case.

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