After a person dies in Florida, there will be a personal representative who will carry out various important duties. Their role is to oversee the assets, make sure they go where the person wanted, inform creditors, give information about the estate and generally handle all of the fundamental aspects of settling the person’s affairs.
A personal representative cannot just be a random person. They must meet specific requirements before being allowed to serve in the role. Knowing when personal representatives are qualified and when they are not under the law is imperative to complete the process smoothly.
Key points about personal representatives and who can serve
A personal representative must reside in Florida when the person whose estate is to be administered died. They must also be 18 or older. Regarding qualifications, there are certain reasons for which a person will be unable to fulfill the duties and take on the responsibilities.
Those who have been convicted of a felony cannot serve as a personal representative. If the person was convicted of abuse, neglect or exploiting a person who is elderly or disabled in any state or anywhere in the world, they cannot serve. Their mental and physical capabilities will be assessed and if they cannot perform the duties, they will be unable to serve. No one under 18 can be a personal representative.
Nonresidents in the state cannot be a personal representative except in certain cases. To qualify, they must be one of the following: either a legally adopted child or adoptive parent of the person who died; of the same ancestral line; a spouse, sibling, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece; or a spouse of a person who is deemed qualified under the law.
When the personal representative is not qualified, they must resign. If they are aware they are unqualified, they must give notice to that fact. If they fail to do so, they could be required to pay legal fees and other costs.
Having help with probate and estate administration can smooth the process
People are often completely unaware of the litany of rules and regulations associated with probate and estate administration. A person could have been named to perform the duties and they are unable to because they do not meet all of the requirements. Other issues could arise that also present a problem. For help with these challenges and to be fully prepared for every eventuality, having qualified representation that is fully up to date with state law can be essential.