Florida Probate with an Out-of-State Executor – Personal Representative

An 0ut-of-State Personal Representative - Executor may be disqualified under Florida Probate Law. Don’t make a time-consuming, costly probate mistake. Contact us now.

Out-of-state Personal Representative complicates a complicated process.

Probate is the proving of a deceased person’s Will, authenticating that the document was executed properly.  It also means the time during which the executor, officially known as the Personal Representative, settles the deceased person’s estate. The probate process can be time consuming, and it’s even worse when an out-of-state Personal Representative has been selected. Proceedings in a Florida court with an out-of-state Personal Representative require a little extra attention.

Probate Proceedings in General.

There are two primary forms of probate administration in Florida: formal administration and summary administration. Informal administration, which does not require court supervision, is called “Disposition of Personal Property Without Administration.”

Duties and powers of a Personal Representative under Florida Probate Statute

Duties include gathering a decedent’s assets, paying valid claims against the estate, and then disbursing remaining assets to the heirs according to the terms of the Will.

If there is no Will, an individual will file an application with the court asking to be appointed as personal representative (again, another word for executor) of the estate. That person has the same duties as he or she would where there is a Will, but there may be more court supervision.

Difficulties with an Out-of-State Personal Representative.

First, any Florida resident may fill the role, barring other exclusions like being under the age of 18 or having been convicted of a felony. The Probate Code states that a non-resident is not qualified to serve unless:

  1. The candidate is a legally adopted child or adoptive parent of the decedent;
  2. The candidate is related to the decedent in a direct blood line (parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, etc.)
  3. The candidate is a spouse or a brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece of the decedent, or someone related in a direct blood line to any such person; or
  4. The candidate is the spouse of a person otherwise qualified under this section.

So, the first hurdle is to prove that he or she is qualified to serve as Personal Representative under Florida law. Once a non-resident qualifies, the duties are the same – just long distance. Having a local advocate who understands Florida probate is a necessity.

Get the Expert Advice You Need.

If you are assuming the role, a local attorney can walk you through the probate process. John Mangan is an experienced Florida estate planning attorney who is Florida Bar board certified in Wills, Trusts & Estates. The Law Offices of John Mangan, P.A., assist many clients with Florida probate. Call 772-324-9050 for an appointment or use our convenient Contact Form.

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