Who Qualifies as Personal Representative in Florida? – Discover the Requirements
When someone dies in Florida, his/her estate must undergo probate, which is a court-supervised process to verify the decedent’s last will and execute the estate to distribute the decedent’s remaining assets to beneficiaries.
Accordingly, the probate court will designate someone to administer the process in detail. Keep reading to find out how someone can qualify to serve as a personal representative in Florida.
Qualifying as Personal Representative in Florida – Who Can Step Up to the Job?
Essentially, almost anyone can qualify to serve as a personal representative in Florida. As provided by Florida Statutes §733.303, “a person is not qualified to act as a personal representative if the person:
Has been convicted of a felony
Has been convicted in any state or foreign jurisdiction of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of an elderly person or a disabled adult (as defined by Fla. Stat. §825.101)
Is mentally or physically unable to perform the duties.
Is under the age of 18 years”
After satisfying these initial requirements, individuals willing to serve as personal representatives are selected based on a statutory order of preference. In this sense, the order of preference will depend on whether the decedent has died intestate or not.
According to Florida Statutes §733.301, the order of preference for testate estates is:
“The personal representative or his or her successor, nominated by the will or pursuant to a power conferred in the will
The person selected by a majority in interest of the persons entitled to the estate
A devisee under the will. If more than one devisee applies, the court may select the one best qualified”
For those unaware, intestacy is the condition of the estate of someone who died without a last will. For probate cases involving intestacy, the order of preference is:
The decedent’s surviving spouse
The person selected by a majority in interest of the heirs
The heir nearest in degree (or the best-qualified among multiple heirs, as selected by the court)
Can Nonresidents in Florida Serve as Personal Representatives?
Florida Statutes §733.302 states that “any person who is sui juris and is a resident of Florida at the time of the death of the person whose estate is to be administered is qualified to act as personal representative in Florida.”
Accordingly, there is a specific set of rules that govern the appointment of nonresidents in Florida as personal representatives within the state’s jurisdiction. Florida Statutes §733.304 provide that an individual not domiciled in Florida may not qualify as a personal representative unless that person is:
The decedent’s legally adopted child or adoptive parent
Related to the decedent by lineal consanguinity (related by blood)
The decedent’s spouse, sibling, uncle/aunt, nephew/niece, or someone related by blood to any such person(s), or
The spouse of a person otherwise qualified under state law
Ultimately, nonresidents in Florida are only allowed to serve as personal representatives if they have a degree of kinship with the decedent. The closer the relationship, the higher the preference to serve as a personal representative (i.e., spouse, parents, children, etc.).
Are You Serving as a Personal Representative in Florida? – Immediately Contact Your Florida Probate Lawyer
Business and Immigration Lawyer for Entrepreneurs, Start-ups, Small Businesses and Foreign Investors. Romy Jurado grew up with the business dream of becoming a lawyer and starting her own business. And today, she is living proof that dreams really do come true. As the founder of Jurado & Associates, PA, a specialty business, real estate, and immigration law firm, Romy's practice focuses primarily on domestic and international business transactions, with a strong emphasis on company formation, stock sales, and assets, contract drafting, and business immigration. In 2011, Romy earned her Juris Doctor degree from Florida International University School of Law. She is fluent in two languages (English and Spanish) and is the proud author of Starting a Business in the US as a Foreigner, an online business guide. Call 305-921-0976 or email [email protected] for a consultation.
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