When a probate procedure is completed, the personal representative must file the Petition for Discharge. What is this document and why is it vital to ensure a proper probate closing? Keep reading to find out.
What Is a Petition for Discharge? – Understanding the Concept
As provided by Florida Statutes §733.901 (1), “after administration has been completed, the personal representative shall be discharged.”
Florida Statutes §733.901 (2) adds that “the discharge of the personal representative shall release the personal representative and shall bar any action against the personal representative, as such or individually, and the surety.”
Florida Probate Rules require that “a personal representative who has completed administration except for distribution shall file a final accounting and a petition for discharge including a plan of distribution.”
Additionally, Florida Probate Rule 5.400 (b) states that “the petition for discharge shall contain a statement:
- That the personal representative has fully administered the estate
- That all claims which were presented have been paid, settled, or otherwise disposed of
- That the personal representative has paid or made provision for taxes and expenses of administration
- Showing the amount of compensation paid or to be paid to the personal representative, attorneys, accountants, appraisers, or other agents employed by the personal representative and the manner of determining that compensation”
Florida Petition for Discharge – Plan of Distribution
A proper Petition for Discharge must include a plan of distribution. As provided by Florida Probate Rule 5400 (b)(5), the personal representative must include a statement in the Petition “showing a plan of distribution which shall include:
- A schedule of all prior distributions
- The property remaining in the hands of the personal representative for distribution
- A schedule describing the proposed distribution of the remaining assets, and
- The amount of funds retained by the personal representative to pay expenses that are incurred in the distribution of the remaining assets and termination of the estate administration”
The same rule requires that the personal representative must demonstrate that “any objections to the accounting, the compensation paid or proposed to be paid, or the proposed distribution of assets must be filed within 30 days from the date of service of the last of the petition for discharge or final accounting.”
Also, the statement must show that “within 90 days after filing of the objection, a notice of hearing thereon must be served or the objection is abandoned, and that objections, if any, shall be in writing and shall state with particularity the item or items to which the objection is directed and the grounds on which the objection is based.”
Is it Possible to Object to a Florida Petition for Discharge?
Under Florida law, any objection to “the compensation paid or proposed to be paid, or the proposed distribution of assets” must be filed by the interested person within 30 days from the receipt of notice of the Petition for Discharge.
Then, the person objecting to the Petition has 90 days counting from the date the objection was filed to serve a notice of hearing on the objection. A failure to meet any of the deadlines established by the Florida Probate Rules will result in the objection’s abandonment.