When you create your estate plan, it is important that you also appoint a personal representative. This person has the responsibility of ensuring your final wishes. He or she will make sure that the court gets your will and other estate documents while managing your estate assets until distribution and oversees distribution. This person has a lot of responsibility.
While you can generally choose anyone you want to act as your personal representative, the Florida Statutes explain some things disqualify someone from taking this position. If you make a choice that goes against the law, it could cause issues during probate, opening the door for your heirs or other people to object and hold up the probate process.
You should make sure that whomever you appoint is a resident of Florida. If the individual is not a resident, then it could disqualify the appointment. There are exceptions to this rule. If the person is your child or close relative, then he or she will not face disqualification.
You want to choose someone who is at least 18 years old. If you only have minor relatives whom you would trust as a personal representative, then you may consider using an attorney or another professional who can act in their place. This will provide you with a peace of mind because such professionals must follow the law and do not have a personal stake in your estate.
Along the same lines, whoever is your personal representative cannot be in your will. He or she should have nothing to gain from your estate.
You also want to choose someone who is of sound mental and physical health. If your personal representative has health issues, it could allow for an objection to the appointment.
Finally, the law does not allow a convicted felon to hold the duties of a personal estate representative.