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Keeping an Eye on the Personal Representative in Florida

Posted on Fri Nov 7, 2014, on Estate Litigation

From our “Ask a Question” Mailbag: Keeping an Eye on the Personal Representative in Florida

Most Recently Updated July 7, 2018

“I think the Personal Representative of my grandfather’s estate is not doing his job. My grandfather died in Florida. I live in PA. Can I do anything?”

Keeping an Eye on the Personal Representative in Florida

Keeping an Eye on the Personal Representative in Florida

Beneficiaries of Florida estates will often approach us asking our help in keeping an eye on the estate’s Personal Representative (in most states this person is called an executor). This is often the result of the Personal Representative not sharing information about the estate with the beneficiary, the Personal Representative’s unreasonable delays, or when the Personal Representative’s behavior has raised the beneficiary’s concern.

What steps are needed?

When we are asked about what steps a beneficiary can take to keep an eye on the Personal Representative, I will outline various options, such as:

Reviewing the estate’s file at the County Surrogates’ Office.

The Personal Representative is required to make certain, timely filings with the Surrogate. These filings may hold valuable information about the Personal Representative’s progress…or lack thereof.

Contact the Personal Representative’s attorney to let that attorney know that you have now retained an attorney experienced in Florida Probate and an attorney experienced in the Florida Surrogate’s Court.

Sometimes an Personal Representative just needs a “nudge” from a lawyer to compete the estate.

Request an Informal Accounting and copies of the estate’s various tax returns.

We would then review these documents with you for accuracy. Some Personal Representatives make mistakes on these documents that are difficult for a non-Probate Attorney to recognize.

Threaten to file a Petition for Formal Accounting and possibly a Petition to Remove the Personal Representative. Sometimes it is necessary to go to court.

This is a threat our firm can back up, as we have both a Probate and a Surrogate Court Litigation department.

What is a proper plan of action?

The exact plan of action taken whenever a Beneficiary asks us to keep an eye on an Personal Representative will depend on the exact facts of the case and the relationships between the interested parties.

Some Personal Representatives are slow to close an estate because of legitimate reasons, but at other times it is because they are lazy, emotionally unable to complete the job, spiteful or they can even be criminals using delay to cover their theft. Have an experienced Florida Probate and Surrogate Court lawyer on your side.

Further Estate Litigation Questions?

Keeping an Eye on the Personal Representative in Florida is only one of many Estate Litigation issues our firm addresses. Consequently, if you want to learn more, please read my more detailed article, Trust and Estate Litigation All You Need to Know.

In Conclusion: Keeping an Eye on the Personal Representative in Florida

I hope that this article was helpful in explaining how to keep an eye on a Personal Representative. Further, I included links to even more detailed information on my website. Therefore, please contact me and let me know how I did. Certainly, your comments and questions are welcome!

Let our Lawyers help walk you through what can be a confusing process. To begin with, call to speak to one of our experienced Litigation Attorneys.  By all means, our lawyers are ready to answer your questions. In fact, feel free to contact our office for a free consultation. Ultimately our goal is to put our 25 years of estate litigation experience to work for you.

Wills, Trusts, Probate, and Estate Litigation It’s All We Do!

Tags:

Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Estate Litigation, Estate Litigation Attorney, Estate Litigation Lawyer, Executor, Fiduciary Duty, Florida, Standard of Care for Fiduciaries

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