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Florida Probate Statute 733.509: Surrender of Assets Upon Removal

The personal representative has a great deal of responsibility related to managing the affairs of a decedent and distributing the decedent’s assets to his (or her) beneficiaries or heirs. Before the probate court will appoint someone to serve as personal representative, the court must be sure that the person is eligible and qualified. Unfortunately, even after great care is taken in selecting a personal representative, there are instances in which he must be removed by the probate court. When this happens, the law requires that the personal representative follow certain procedures in other to protect the estate. If you would like to learn more about the process for removing a personal representative, including the requirements of Florida Statutes, section 733.509- Surrender of assets upon removal, contact an experienced Fort Lauderdale estate administration lawyer at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates.

Removing an Estate Administrator

Under Florida law, if a personal representative does not perform his duties are required by law, of if the he (or she) is no longer qualified, the probate court can remove him. The procedure for removing a personal representative is that an interested party must file a petition with the probate court with jurisdiction over the administration of the estate. The reasons the court would remove a personal representative include:

  • Incapacity , such that the personal representative is physically or mentally incapable of doing the job.
  • Failure to follow order of the court, as required by law.
  • Failure to account for estate assets , or to produce estate assets when required.
  • Wasting assets because of his (or her) actions or inaction.
  • Failure to get a bond, as required by the probate court. As an estate administration attorney in Fort Lauderdale will explain, the probate court may waive the bond requirement. However, if the court requires bond, the representative must secure one in the amount required by the court.
  • Conviction of a felony, as convicted felons are prohibited from serving as personal representatives.
  • Insolvency of corporate representative
  • Will revoked, which nominated the personal representative.
  • No longer resident, as required by law.

If you need more information about the reasons for removing a personal representative, contact an experienced Fort Lauderdale estate administration attorney.

Consequences of Removal

If the personal representative is removed and there is not a co-personal representative with authority, the removed representative must be replaced. The process for appointing a successor personal representative is similar to the process of making an initial appointment of a personal representative. Anyone wishing to be appointed must be both eligible and qualified. Because it may take some time to issue letters of administration to a new administrator, the court may appoint a curator to carry on with the personal representative responsibilities until letters are issued to a successor personal representative. Generally, curator has the same authority as personal representative to manage a decedent’s estate.

Another consequence of the removal of a personal representative is that under Florida Statutes, section 733.509- Surrender of assets upon removal, the personal representative must immediately deliver all estate assets, records, documents, papers, and other property related to the estate to the remaining personal representative or successor fiduciary.

Related Statutory Provisions
  1. Removal of personal representative;  causes for removal: § 733.504, Fla. Stat.
  2. Jurisdiction in removal proceedings: § 733.505, Fla. Stat.
  3. Proceedings for removal: § 733.506, Fla. Stat.
  4. Appointment of successor upon removal: § 733.5061, Fla. Stat.
  5. Accounting and discharge of removed personal representatives upon removal: § 733.508, Fla. Stat.
FL. Stat, Section 733.509- Surrender of Assets Upon Removal

Upon entry of an order removing a personal representative, the removed personal representative shall immediately deliver all estate assets, records, documents, papers, and other property of or concerning the estate in the removed personal representative's possession or control to the remaining personal representative or successor fiduciary.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

If you have questions related to the removal of a personal representative, including the requirements of Florida Statutes, section 733.509- Surrender of assets upon removal, 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 years of experience representing clients in estate matters 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.

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