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Out-of-state residents as personal representatives in Florida

On Behalf of | Apr 25, 2022 | Probate |

Section 734.101 of Florida’s Probate Code allows an out-of-state resident to serve as a Florida testator’s personal representative. After executing a will, testators may send copies to their personal representatives.

The Florida Legislature website notes that individuals in another state may travel to the Sunshine State and introduce a will for probate. If an heir or a third party disputes the will, a personal representative from another state must proceed with the required action in a Florida probate court.

Florida courts may accept wills from another state

Out-of-state residents who created wills while living in another state may include instructions for transferring property in Florida. The Sunshine State courts may accept a petition to probate a valid out-of-state will. A judge, however, may not consider a probate petition filed in a county other than the property’s location.

When the value of a non-resident’s Florida estate does not exceed $50,000, a personal representative has two years from the deceased’s death to file a probate petition. The representative must also serve a notice to creditors so that they may file a claim against the deceased’s Florida estate as allowed by law.

Dying without a will may require a court-appointed representative

As described on the Florida Bar website, when an individual dies without a will, judges may search for a surviving spouse or an adult child residing in another state to appoint as a personal representative. If the deceased dies without a surviving spouse, child, parent or sibling, the court may locate the closest living relative in any state to distribute the estate’s assets.

Wills provide instructions for Florida probate judges to distribute property to a decedent’s rightful heirs. Naming a trusted personal representative may facilitate a smooth transfer of ownership regardless of where he or she resides.