Powers of the Personal RepresentativeIn Florida, the person or entity (ie. trust department of a bank) who is named in a will or who is appointed by the court to take care of the estate of the deceased individual during probate proceedings is the Powers of the Personal Representative. In other states, the Personal Representative is the executor.
Here in Florida, we call this individual the Personal Representative or PR, for short.
Powers of the Personal Representative is a fiduciaryThe Powers of the Personal Representative is a fiduciary, which means they must act for the benefit of another. Here in Florida, since the PR is a fiduciary, they must observe the standards of care that trustees do. They are required to distribute the estate in an expeditious and efficient manner in accordance with the will and the laws of the State of Florida.
Many of the PR’s powers are stated in the will, but if there is no will, by order of the court. Also, powers of the PR are discussed in the Florida Statutes (F.S. 733.601-733.620). Some of those powers are:
- Holding onto the estate assets until they are to be distributed to the beneficiaries (stated in the will) or heirs (if there is no will)
- Deposit or invest assets
- Make repairs or necessary alterations to real property
- Convey, sell, or lease real property
- Enter into mineral leases
- Acquire or dispose of an asset
- Pay taxes, assessments, and other expenses pertaining to the administration of the estate
- Employ individuals, including lawyers, to assist in the administration of the estate
- Prosecute and/or defend claims for or against the estate
- Lease or sell personal property
- Continue the business of the decedent
- Make partial distributions to beneficiaries of any part of the estate that are not
- used to pay for the costs of administration of the estate
- Satisfy and settle claims and distribute the assets of the estate
- Sign all documents necessary in the exercise of the PR’s powers.