A personal representative is appointed by the judge to be in charge of the administration of the decedent’s probate estate. “Personal Representative” is also known as the “executor,” “executrix,” “administrator,” and “administratrix.” The personal representative has the legal duty to administer the probate estate in accordance with Florida law.
A personal representative must do the following:
- Identify, gather, value, and safeguard the decedent’s probate assets
- Serve those persons or businesses who have an interest in the estate with certain required papers
- Publish notices in a local newspaper as required by law
- Conduct a search to locate creditors and notify such creditors of the probate proceedings
- Object to improper claims and defend any suits brought on such claims.
- Pay any valid claims
- File tax returns and pay any taxes due
- Employ professionals to assist in the administration of the probate estate attorneys, certified public accountants, etc.
- Pay all expenses of administering the probate estate
- Pay statutory amounts to the decedent’s surviving spouse or family
- Distribute probate assets to beneficiaries
- Close the probate estate
If the personal representative mismanages any of the decedent’s probate estate, the personal representative will be liable for any harm that the beneficiaries suffer.