By Phillip B. Rarick, Miami Probate Attorney
You are named the personal representative (or executor in other states) and a loved one or family member has just died. No doubt these are difficult times, but thankfully there are many resources for help. The following is a checklist of initial important tasks to help guide you after the funeral or memorial service.
Note: You are not required to accept the Personal Representative duties. Before you can legally act on behalf of the estate you will likely need to secure Letters of Administration issued by a Florida probate court that officially designate you as the legal authority in charge of the estate. Therefore, you should not take action as Personal Representative before you know your duties and what potential claims you may face from estate beneficiaries and creditors. Consult a Miami probate attorney and see our 10 Basic Legal Rights for Beneficiaries Under a Florida Will.
First Priority Action Items
____ 1. Take possession of all legal records including:
__ Original will and all amendments or codicils
Note: If decedent did not leave a will, the beneficiaries will be determined according to Florida intestate law. See Dying Without A Will In Florida.
__ Tangible Personal Property Memorandum or writing indicating instructions for distribution of tangible personal property (such as jewelry, furniture, cars)
____ 2. Take possession of all financial records such as:
__ Inventory of assets if available
__ Passwords to computer, internet media, or social media
__ Credit cards
__ Statements from all banks, financial companies, or financial advisors
Click here for the complete checklist: Florida Personal Representative Checklist
This is a short list of initial action items for a person who accepts the duties as Personal Representative. It is not a complete list of tasks. The Personal Representative will only be able to determine all tasks after carefully reviewing the will, if there is one, with a Miami probate attorney. Attorneys at Rarick & Beskin have helped many family members navigate the bureaucratic Florida Probate process as the Personal Representative. We are available to help you. Contact us at (305) 556-5209 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The information on this blog is of a general nature and is not intended to answer any individual’s legal questions. Do not rely on information presented herein to address your individual legal concerns. If you have a legal question about your individual facts and circumstances, you should consult a Miami probate attorney that is experienced in Florida probate law. Your receipt of information from this website, blog, or Miami probate attorney does not create an attorney-client relationship and the legal privileges inherent therein.