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Tampa Estate Planning Attorney > Blog > Estate Planning > Who Should Act As Personal Representative Of Your Estate?

Who Should Act As Personal Representative Of Your Estate?


Even if you do not own anything that anyone would want to inherit, you still need to write a will.  At minimum, your will should include instructions about the final disposition of your remains, meaning whether you want your body to be buried or cremated and where you want the final resting place of your remains to be.  It should also indicate which person or eligible company should serve as the personal representative of your estate.  The personal representative of an estate makes financial transactions on behalf of the estate during probate.  This includes filing a tax return for the estate, settling debts owed by the decedent, selling assets belonging to the estate if necessary, and distributing assets to the beneficiaries of the decedent’s will when the estate settles.  A Tampa estate planning attorney can help you make the important decision of choosing a personal representative for your estate.

Surprise!  You Get to Deal With My Creditors and My Estranged Relatives After I Die

When it comes to your will, you get to call the shots.  You can leave as much or as little property as you choose to any family members or non-family members you choose, and with only one exception, your family cannot override your decision.  Surviving spouses have the right to claim an elective share of the state if their late spouses unfairly disinherit them.  Likewise, you have the final decision about who gets to be the personal representative of your estate.

Florida law gives you the choice to appoint any adult resident of Florida as personal representative, regardless of whether he or she is related to you.  You can even choose a company eligible to act as a fiduciary, such as a bank or law firm, as personal representative.  Whoever you choose, it is important to notify him or her of your decision while you are alive and well.  If you think that certain family members will be upset that you didn’t choose them, no one except the personal representative you have chosen has to know about your decision.

Does the Personal Representative of Your Estate Have to Live in Florida?

Probate is simpler and less stressful if the personal representative lives in Florida and does not have to travel back and forth from home for court dates.  Meanwhile, Florida law allows you to appoint a personal representative who is not a Florida resident as long as the personal representative is the decedent’s parent, sibling, son, or daughter.  If you do not have any family in Florida, it might be a good idea to appoint an estate planning lawyer as personal representative.

Contact David Toback With Questions About Choosing a Personal Representative for Your Estate

You still need a will even if you are not rich.  A Central Florida estate planning lawyer can help you write a will and ensure that the probate court follows its instructions and acts in accordance with your wishes.  Contact David Toback in Tampa, Florida to set up a consultation.



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