Florida Probate Statute 733.811: Distribution; Right or Title of Distributee
In Florida, it is the job of the court appointed personal representative to settle the estate of a decedent. This involves inventorying estate assets, paying estate debt, and, ultimately, distributing estate assets to beneficiaries according to the decedent’s will or Florida law. Once an asset is distributed, it is not longer property of the estate. It is the property of the distributee. To learn more about the steps involved in probate and asset distribution, including the requirements of Florida Statutes, section 733.811- Distribution; right or title of distributee, contact a skilled Fort Lauderdale estate administration lawyer at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates. We have extensive experience representing clients in complex estate matters and have the knowledge and resources to help.Steps in Estate Administration
Estate distribution is one of the final steps in the estate administration process. Before the personal representative can distribute assets, he (or she) must first do the following:
- Inventory estate assets. The personal representative must identify, gather, value and safeguard the decedent’s probate assets. Not all of the assets that the decedent had an ownership interest in is a probate asset. Generally, only personal property which the decedent owned as an individual and that does not have a designated beneficiary is personal property. For additional information as to whether or not property is part of a probate estate, contact a skilled Fort Lauderdale estate administration lawyer.
- Notify creditors. The personal representative must publish a “Notice to Creditors” in a local newspaper in order to give notice to potential claimants to file claims in the manner required by law. The personal representative must also conduct a diligent search to locate creditors, and must notify these creditors by personally serving them. Creditors have a certain amount of time to file claims. Failure to do will result in the claim being barred.
- Pay valid claims. The personal representative must pay only valid claims that are timely filed. He is also required to object to claims that are not valid.
- Pay expenses of administering the probate estate. The personal representative must pay expenses related to the administration of the estate, including attorney’s fees and his own commission.
- File tax returns . The personal representative must file tax forms and pay any taxes properly due.
Once estate bills and expenses are paid, assets can be distributed according to the terms of the decedent’s will. In the absence of a will, assets are distributed according to Florida’s rules of intestate succession. This means that the decedent’s surviving spouse and descendants are his or her next of kin and entitled to receive his entire estate in the absence of a will.Effective of Receiving a Distribution
Under FL. Stat, section 733.811- Distribution; right or title of distributee, once a distributee receives a distribution, the estate no longer has an interest in the property. However, as an experienced estate administration serving Fort Lauderdale will explain, the personal representative may recover the assets or their value if the distribution was improper.Related Statutory Provisions
- Right of retainer: § 733.809, Fla. Stat.
- Distribution in kind; valuation: § 733.810, Fla. Stat.
- Improper distribution or payment; liability of distributee or payee: § 733.812, Fla. Stat.
- Purchasers from distributees protected: § 733.813, Fla. Stat.
If a distributee receives from a fiduciary an instrument transferring assets in kind, payment in distribution, or possession of specific property, the distributee has succeeded to the estate’s interest in the assets as against all persons interested in the estate. However, the fiduciary may recover the assets or their value if the distribution was improper.Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates
To learn more about the steps in the asset distribution process and the impact on distributees, contact an experienced estate administration attorney serving Fort Lauderdale. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have years of experience working closely with personal representative and other interested parties in all aspects of estate administration, and understand the requirements of Florida Statutes, section 733.811- Distribution; right or title of distributee. We can help. Contact us attorneys at 561-710-4000 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case.