As a personal representative, you take on a lot of duties when the person dies. It is up to you to finalize his or her last wishes.
This job is very serious and can be complicated. But you can make it much easier on yourself by ensuring you have all the documents and information you need before you file with the probate court.
The most essential items you need, according to the Florida Courts, are the will and the death certificate. These will help you get the ball rolling and get the case into court.
You also have to file a petition as you would for any other type of court case. The petition informs the court of the details and allows it to prepare for necessary hearings. In the petition for formal administration, you will need to provide your contact details and those of the deceased. You also need to make sure you have information to show you are the chosen representative and details on the estate.
Along with your petition, you must provide an oath signed by you and the attorney of the deceased. You may also need affidavits of heirs and concerning criminal history.
It is a good idea to gather information on beneficiaries as well. If a beneficiary has died, you will want to secure a death certificate. You also need any waivers or consents for all heirs who receive a notice that you filed the petition.
Ensuring you have as much documentation to back up everything in the estate plan will make the process easier. It is also smart to involve the heirs so they are ready for the distribution of assets and you have all the needed contact information in case the court also needs it. Being prepared can save you a lot of time and hassle in the long run.