As stated in a previous article, this column is going to cover common questions/concerns one might have about probate in Florida. Probate litigation can be a tricky thing, so going into it with an understanding of how it works can certainly make the process easier to handle. This particular article is going to address personal representatives and their duties during probate.
A personal representative is a person, bank or company that has been chosen, typcially by the court, to administer the decedent's estate. A personal representative may also be known as an executor or administrator. The individual who has been charged with carrying out the responsibilities tied to this position has a huge task in front of him or her, as if it is not done properly beneficiaries may suffer and the personal representative may be held liable for any resulting damages.
One who has been placed in this position has many responsibilities. These include identifying, valuing and securing all assets, paying any creditor claims, objecting to improper claims, paying taxes and distributing assets to beneficiaries -- among numerous others. Completing all of the tasks asked of a personal representative can take some time, especially if claims are made against the estate.
Being designated as the personal representative of an estate is an enormous responsibility -- one that not everyone may feel prepared to tackle. Those who have been chosen to take such rolls during probate litigation in Florida can seek legal counsel to help during the process. With the right assistance, a personal representative can properly and successfully complete all of the necessary tasks required to close out an estate.
Source: floridabar.org, "Probate in Florida Pamphlet: 9. What is a personal representative, and what does the personal representative do?", Accessed on Jan. 26, 2016