Who is Allowed to Serve as Your Personal Representative?

Who is Allowed to Serve as Your Personal Representative?

One of the most important parts of planning your estate is naming a personal representative who will manage your estate after your death, handling all asset transfers and payments of required debts and taxes.

Who is eligible to serve as a personal representative? In Florida, your chosen personal representative must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be considered mentally and physically capable of serving in the role
  • Not have a felony conviction on their record

There are also certain restrictions on corporations serving as a personal representative in the state of Florida. State law allows testators to name a bank, trust company or savings and loan provider to serve in the role, but the chosen organization must be officially authorized to act as a fiduciary in Florida, which not all such organizations are.

There are also restrictions on personal representatives who live out of state. It’s always better practically to choose a personal representative who lives close to you to serve in the role—they’ll frequently need to handle some day-to-day tasks that require them to be in the area. For this reason, the state mandates that any nonresident personal representative must be related to you by blood, adoption or marriage. This means a nonresident child, grandchild, parent, adopted child, adoptive parent, sibling, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew or spouse of any of the aforementioned are all eligible to serve in the role. A nonresident friend of your family, however, would not be eligible, nor would a nonresident business partner.

These are just a few examples of some of the restrictions and rules the state of Florida places on who can and cannot serve as a personal representative. Contact a trusted Tampa estate planning attorney at BaumannKangas Estate Law for more information.