When an estate in Florida goes through the probate process, a personal representative is appointed. A personal representative is responsible for overseeing the administration of the estate, but what exactly does this mean?
Administering an estate means disturbing assets according to a will or Florida’s probate laws, paying any debts of the estate and taking care of any other necessary tasks before ultimately closing out the state.
Choosing a personal representative
You should carefully consider who you select as your personal representative when you create your will.
Serving as a personal representative comes with a great deal of responsibility and involves many steps that must be completed correctly and in a certain order. Therefore, your personal representative should be someone you trust to handle these tasks.
Basic responsibilities of a personal representative
A personal representative must first identify the estate’s assets and value them before distribution. Various notices must be given to the estate’s creditors to allow them to object to the distribution of assets if they wish.
It is also up to the personal representative to locate the creditors before giving notice. Other duties of a personal representative could include filing a final tax return for the estate, litigating any claims made against the estate and paying any estate-related expenses.
Helping you through the process
These duties may sound overwhelming, and, indeed, sometimes people are not equipped to handle everything on their own. Professionals such as appraisers, financial advisors and tax experts are often necessary to assist with the process.
Whether you are selecting a personal representative for your own estate or are appointed a personal representative for someone else’s estate, it helps to have professional guidance. Probate can be time-consuming, and a mistake will likely only drag the process out, so getting things done right the first time can save time and money.