Effective probate administration is the one way to ensure that your assets move to your designated heirs after your death. Proper administration, combined with a detailed and legally binding will, can make the probate process quicker and less costly.
The only party with the ability to administer an estate is a personal representative or curator. These representatives obtain their power as the result of a court order but may also be nominated for the position in a person’s will. A personal representative needs to be aware of their duties during asset administration in a Coral Gables probate. A hard-working probate attorney can help explain these duties or investigate whether a personal representative has acted properly under the law.
Why a Personal Representative is Important for Estate Administration
No person or entity plays a larger role in probate administration than a personal representative. These individuals have the sole authority to take temporary control of estate assets, pay all legitimate creditors, and distribute the remaining estate property to the decedent’s legal heirs.
Florida Statute § 733.602 says that a personal representative is a fiduciary with an obligation to settle the estate as quickly as possible, and with minimal loss of value. In other words, a personal representative must act only in the interests of the estate and heirs.
While it may seem like personal representatives acting in this way is a sure thing, the unfortunate truth is that some parties are unable or unwilling to properly serve in this role. Furthermore, others might intentionally attempt to cheat heirs out of their fair share of their inheritance. An attorney can provide more information about the general duties of personal representatives and the role that they play in effective asset administration in Coral Gables probate.
How a Personal Representative Could Ensure Proper Estate Administration
While Florida law clearly states the general obligation of personal representatives to administer an estate, the exact steps that they must take are less obvious. Personal representatives must act to help an estate retain its value and that their actions can be reviewed by a court. There are common steps that representatives will take to satisfy these requirements.
Acting as the Caretaker of Estate Property
Once a personal representative receives letters testamentary that empower them to act on behalf of an estate, they should immediately open bank accounts and other financial instruments to help the assets retain value. This could include obtaining insurance protection on physical property or hiring maintenance companies to keep an asset in working order.
Creating Proper Status Reports Concerning their Actions
Both probate courts and heirs should be able to quickly evaluate every step that a personal representative takes. State law requires representatives to submit regular status reports to the court concerning their activities under Fla. Stat. § 733.604. In addition, a personal representative must submit a final report to the court when they believe that the time has come to bring the estate to a close. Asset administration in Coral Gables probate requires proper record keeping and a lawyer can assist someone in maintaining these records.
Speak with a Coral Gables Attorney About Asset Administration in Probate Today
The probate process is critical for ensuring that the proper parties receive their fair share of assets after a death. The best way to work towards this positive outcome is to nominate someone with the knowledge and experience needed to serve as an effective personal representative of an estate. This requires understanding the legal duties included in asset administration in a Coral Gables probate.
An attorney can provide more information about the probate process. If you choose to nominate them as a personal representative, they will be prepared immediately after your death to submit your will to the court, take temporary control over your assets, and distribute them to your intended heirs. Reach out to us today for a free consultation to discuss your needs and learn how we can help you.