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Tampa Business Litigation Attorneys / Tampa Personal Representative Attorney

Tampa Personal Representative Attorney

In Florida, a personal representative is the individual who has been appointed to represent a decedent’s estate. While the role of the personal representative seems fairly straightforward, it can become complex and issues can arise while they are trying to carry out their duties. In other instances, personal representatives may not want to accept the responsibility of the role, or they may not understand the duties they are responsible for. Below, our Tampa personal representative attorney explains further.

How are Personal Representatives Appointed?

Personal representatives in Florida are typically appointed in the will of someone who is deceased. As long as the designated individual meets the legal requirements to act as a personal representative in the state, the probate court will typically uphold the wishes of the decedent.

If someone dies without a will, the probate court will name a personal representative. In most cases, this is the surviving spouse of the decedent. If there is no surviving spouse, or if the spouse does not want to act as the personal representative, the court will choose another person in closest relation to the deceased or the heirs can choose someone by a majority interest. If the heirs cannot agree, the probate court will hold a hearing during which a personal representative will be chosen.

State Requirements for Personal Representatives

Not everyone can act as a personal representative of an estate. Personal representatives must be at least 18 years old and reside in Florida. Additionally, people who have been convicted of a felony or who are physically or mentally disabled and are unable to perform certain duties also cannot act as personal representatives.

Duties of the Personal Representative

Many people are honored to be designated as the personal representative of an estate, but there are many responsibilities that come with the position. If the estate of the decedent is mismanaged, the personal representative may be held liable if the beneficiaries suffer any harm. This is because the personal representative has a fiduciary duty to the estate and its beneficiaries.

It is for this reason that state law requires personal representatives to have an attorney. The only exception to this is when the personal representative is the only person with an interest in the estate. Personal representatives are required to have an attorney because there are many legal issues that can arise. When a person is not familiar with these, they need sound legal advice about how to address them and only an attorney can provide it.

Our Personal Representative Attorney in Tampa Can Help

As a personal representative, you have many responsibilities. You may not understand all of them, know what steps to take next, or how to ensure you are complying with the law. At BBDG Law, our Tampa personal representative attorney can answer all of your questions and inform you about how to proceed so your best interests are protected. Call us today at (813) 221-3759 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation with our experienced attorney and to get the legal help you need.