I am often asked about the qualifications for someone to act as a Florida Personal Representative. Any person who has capacity and who is a resident of Florida at the time of the testator’s death may qualify as the Florida Personal Representative. A person who is under 18, who has been convicted of a felony, or is unable to perform the duties of the personal representative is not qualified. Fla. Stat. 733.303(1). Most often a problem arises where a person who is not domiciled in Florida is named as the primary personal representative in a Florida Will or where a non-domiciled person seeks to be the Florida Personal Representative in an estate with no will. In these situations, Florida Statute 733.304 sets out who may qualify as a personal representative of a Florida estate. The statute states the following persons may qualify:
- The decedent’s legally adopted child or adoptive parent;
- Related by lineal consanguinity to the decedent;
- The decedent’s spouse, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece;
- Someone related by lineal consanguity to the those listed in 3; or
- The spouse of any of those listed in 1 through 4.
Another situation where this issue arises is where the original personal representative no longer qualifies to act, or dies themselves, and the Court is faced with appointing an alternate personal representative. In that case, the alternate personal representative must also meet the requirements of the statute.
If you have been appointed as a Florida Personal Representative or are interested in finding out more information about this topic, please post a comment to this blog and I will respond with the information you or looking for. Alternatively, you can contact me by email or calling me at (954) 458-8655 and we will be happy to answer your questions. I offer a free initial consultation.