Florida Probate Statute 733.505: Jurisdiction in Removal Proceedings
Because of the important role that a personal representative has in the Estate administration process, Florida law sets forth both substantive and procedural rules related the appointment of a personal representative as well as rules related to the removal of a personal representative. If circumstances necessitate the removal of a personal representative, it is important that interested parties understand the process, including the requirements of Florida Statutes, section 733.505- Jurisdiction in removal proceedings. To ensure compliance with all probate court procedures, contact an experienced Fort Lauderdale probate lawyer at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates.Qualifications to Serve as Personal Representative
Under Florida law, anyone who is at least 18 years old and who is a resident of Florida qualifies to serve as a personal representative. However, there are factors which would serve to disqualify a petitioner. A convicted felon cannot be a Florida personal representative, not can a person who does not have the mental or physical capacity to undertake the responsibilities that go along with the role. In addition, a bank, savings and loan or trust company can serve as personal representative if it is authorized to exercise fiduciary powers in Florida. To learn more about the qualifications for a company to serve as personal representative, contact a Fort Lauderdale probate lawyer.Grounds for Removing a Personal Representative
Grounds for removing a Florida personal representative are generally due to sort of bad behavior on the part of the personal representative, including:
- Failure to obey an order of the court
- Failure to post a fiduciary bond as required by the probate court
- Failure to account for sale of estate property or produce assets of the estate when required
- Wasting estate assets
- Felony conviction
- insolvency of a corporate representative
- Conflict of interest
Other grounds for removal that are not related to bad behavior include no longer being a resident of Florida and becoming incapacitated. If you feel there are grounds to remove a personal representative of an estate in which you have an interest, contact an experienced probate lawyer in Fort Lauderdale.Removal Process
The probate court can initiate the removal process or any interested party can file a petition requesting the removal. Under Florida Statutes, section 733.505- Jurisdiction in removal proceedings, the petition must be filed in the circuit court that has jurisdiction over the administration matter. In addition the petition must include the factual basis for the request. Fro example, if the reason behind the removal petition is that the personal representative no longer resides in Florida, the petition must state that.
If the probate court grants the petition and removes the personal representative, he (or she) is still subject to liability for unauthorized actions taken concerning the estate as is the surety company from which the personal representative purchased a bond.
After removal, the former personal representative must file a final accounting and must immediately deliver all of the records and property of the estate to the successor personal representative or curator.Related Statutory Provisions
- Removal of personal representative; causes for removal: § 733.504, Fla. Stat.
- Proceedings for removal: § 733.506, Fla. Stat.
- Appointment of successor upon removal: § 733.5061, Fla. Stat.
- Accounting and discharge of removed personal representatives upon removal: § 733.508, Fla. Stat.
- Surrender of assets upon removal: § 733.509, Fla. Stat.
A petition for removal shall be filed in the court having jurisdiction of the administration.Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates
If you are considering filing a petition to have a personal representative removed, or if you are a personal representative who is the target of removal proceedings, it is important that you understand the process, including the requirements of Florida Statutes, section 733.505- Jurisdiction in removal proceedings. The skilled probate attorneys serving Fort Lauderdale 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. Contact us attorneys at 561-710-4000 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case.