If you are an interested person in a Florida probate case, you may be entitled to notice of documents filed, hearings, and other relevant happenings in the probate case. You or your attorney may request notice in order to make sure that assets are distributed properly and according to your loved one’s wishes. Alternatively, you may be a creditor of the probate estate, and would like to make sure that your claim is paid out of available assets in the probate case. Either way, understanding requests for notice in Florida probate cases is important.
First, it is important to understand who an “interested person” is in a Florida probate case. Under section 731.201(23), Florida Statutes, an interested person “means any person who may reasonably be expected to be affected by the outcome of the particular proceeding involved.” Interested persons under Florida law can include the personal representative, creditors of the estate, beneficiaries, heirs, and any other person who may be affected by the outcome of the Florida probate administration.
The request for notice in a Florida probate administration is governed by Florida Probate Rule 5.060. Under Florida Probate Rule 5.060(a), “Any interested person who desires notice of proceedings in the estate of a decedent (the person who died) or ward may file a separate written request for notice of further proceedings, designating therein such person’s residence and post office address.” A copy of the request for notice must be served on the attorney for the personal representative for the probate estate. According to Florida Probate Rule 5.060(b), “A party filing a request shall be served thereafter by the moving party with notice of further proceedings and with copies of subsequent pleadings and documents as long as the party is an interested person.”
The service of pleadings and documents is governed by Florida Probate Rule 5.041, which states that documents must be served in accordance with Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.516. Under Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.516, if the interested person is represented by an attorney, then the documents must be electronically served on the attorney in accordance with the rules. If the interested person is not represented by an attorney, then the interested person can designate an email address for electronic service through email. Otherwise, an interested person not represented by an attorney will need to receive service of documents through U.S. Mail.
Once an interested person is not longer interested in the case, that person is no longer entitled to notice. This can occur if the interested person is a beneficiary and their interest has been distributed to him or her. If the interested person is a creditor, the creditor is no longer an interested person once the creditor’s claim is paid in full.
If you think that you may be an interested person in a Florida probate case and would like to receive notice of documents and events occurring in the case, you should talk to a Florida probate attorney. A Florida probate attorney can assist you in deciding if you need to receive notice. Also, if you are a creditor, beneficiary, or think that you are an interested person, contact our office today to schedule a free 30 minute consultation so that we can review your issues and to see if our firm can help you.
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