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WHAT IS A PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE OF A WILL?

Learn more the duties of a personal representative and the qualifications needed



A personal representative is someone who is named in a will to handle administrative tasks after the person who wrote the will dies (called the “decedent”). These tasks include tracking down the decedent’s assets and creditors, paying the decedent’s taxes and debts, and distributing the decedent’s assets to heirs and beneficiaries. Also called “executor”, “executrix”, or “administrator”, in Florida the term “personal representative” is used.

 

A personal representative in Florida must either be a Florida resident or they must be a close relative, such as a sibling, adult child, or parent.

 

Anyone convicted of a felony may not serve as a personal representative. In your will, it is a great idea to name a “successor” personal representative - someone who can serve in case your first choice is unable or unwilling. A personal representative does not have to be physically present in Florida to probate a Florida will. A Florida attorney can help a personal representative handle most probate matters remotely.

If the estate has to go through a formal probate process, a personal representative is entitled to be paid out of the assets of the decedent’s estate. Estates valued under $75,000 qualify to go through a simpler, quicker, and less expensive court procedure called summary administration. A personal representative is not needed in these cases.

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