Florida Probate Statute 733.506: Proceedings for Removal
A personal representative is responsible for handling a decedent's estate and property distribution. The personal representative is typically the person named in the decedent's will, if any, but he (or she) receives his authority from the probate court which must issue an order formally appointing him. If a personal representative fails to fulfill his duties as required by law, the probate court can remove him before the estate is closed, and appoint a new person to finish settling the estate. For more information on the personal representative removal process, including the requirements of Florida Statutes, section 733.506- Proceedings for removal, contact an experienced Fort Lauderdale probate lawyer at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates.Responsibilities of the Personal Representative
A personal representative is responsible for following the decedent's directions in the will, if any, and following the requirements of the Florida Probate Code and the orders of the probate court. These responsibilities including securing estate assets, paying the final debts of the decedent, paying expenses of administration, and distributing estate property according to the will and Florida estate law. In addition, before the probate proceeding can be closed, the court will require that the personal representative submit a full accounting from that shows what he's done with the estate's assets. As a fiduciary, a personal representative has a legal obligation to carry out his duties honestly and in good faith.Proceedings for Removal
A probate court has the authority to remove an appointed personal representative. According to Florida Statutes, section 733.506- Proceedings for removal, removal proceedings begin when a person with an interest in the estate, such as a creditor or heir of the decedent, files a petition to remove the personal representative. The petition must be filed in the circuit court having jurisdiction of the administration. The person seeking the personal representative's removal must prove it's necessary by giving a reasons and providing supporting evidence. Common reasons for removing a personal representative involve his performance. For example, a personal representative who misappropriates funds from the estate is not meeting his (or her) legal obligations or handling his responsibilities as personal representative. Other reasons include being convicted of a felony, Failure to give bond or security for any purpose, revocation of the probate of the decedent's will that authorized or designated the appointment of the personal representative, moving out of Florida to another state or country, or becoming mentally incapacitated. If you need more information about the reasons for removing a personal representative, contact an experienced Fort Lauderdale probate attorney.
If the court approves the petition and orders the removal, the court shall revoke the removed personal representative’s letters of administration. The removal of a personal representative shall not exonerate the removed personal representative or the removed personal representative's surety from any liability.Appointing a Successor
Once the personal representative has been removed, the court will appoint a successor personal representative. As an experienced probate attorney in Fort Lauderdale will explain, in the interim, the court may appoint a curator to perform the administrator’s duties until a personal representative is appointed.Related Statutory Provisions
- Removal of personal representative; causes for removal: § 733.504, Fla. Stat.
- Jurisdiction in removal proceedings: § 733.505, 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.
Proceedings for removal of a personal representative may be commenced by the court or upon the petition of an interested person. The court shall revoke the letters of a removed personal representative. The removal of a personal representative shall not exonerate the removed personal representative or the removed personal representative's surety from any liability.Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates
If you have questions about process for the removal of a personal representative of a curator, including the requirements of Florida Statutes, section 733.506- Proceedings for removal, it is important that you discuss your concerns with an experienced probate attorney serving Fort Lauderdale. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have over two decades of experience representing clients in matters related to the personal representative appointment process, probate, and estate administration and understand the rules of Florida estate law. Contact us attorneys at 561-710-4000 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case.