In a Florida probate formal administration, the personal representative has several duties that need to be completed during the probate administration. Proving notice to creditors, filing an inventory, selling assets of the estate, paying creditors, and other duties can take some time to complete. When all of the requirements and duties of the personal representative and probate administration are finally complete, it is time for any remaining assets of the estate to be distributed and for the probate estate to be closed. In a formal administration, this is completed through a petition for discharge and final accounting. The petition for discharge and final accounting must be filed with the court conducting the formal administration. The contents of the final accounting and petition for discharge are set out in Florida Probate Rule 5.400. Under Florida Probate Rule 5.400, the petition for discharge must contain:
- A statement that the personal representative has fully administered the estate.
- All claims of creditors have been paid, settled or otherwise disposed.
- That the personal representative has made provision for the payment of taxes and other expenses of administration.
- A statement showing that amount to be paid by the personal representative to people or entities retained by the estate, including attorneys, accountants, and other professionals or companies employed by the personal representative during administration.
- A plan of distribution of the remaining assets within the estate. The plan of distribution includes a schedule of assets previously distributed by the personal representative during administration, list of assets remaining in the estate, a schedule of the proposed distribution of the remaining assets, and the amount of the remaining asset that are to be retained by the personal representative to be used to pay outstanding expenses.
- A statement that any objections to the petition for discharge need to be filed within 30 days of the receipt of the petition. The objections must specifically state why the interested person is objecting to the petition for discharge.
A copy of the petition for discharge and final accounting must be served on the remaining interested persons of the estate. If objections are filed, there may need to be additional administration or litigation in order to resolve the objection. If no objections to the petition for discharge are filed with the court, the court may approve the petition for discharge by entering an order of discharge. Under section 733.901, Florida Statutes, once the order of discharge is entered, the duties and powers of the personal representative end. The probate case is over at this point.
If you have lost a loved one and may need to do probate, contact us today to schedule a free consultation. During our consultation, we can discuss the steps of probate, what will be involved, and the costs.