Under certain circumstances, it is possible to reopen an estate whose administration has been closed already. Keep reading to find out when and how it is possible to reopen a close probate estate in Florida.
Can You Reopen a Closed Probate Estate in Florida? – The Basics
When the estate of a deceased person is formally administered in Florida, closing the probate estate requires the personal representative to file a Petition for Discharge, Plan of Distribution, and Final Accounting.
Upon receipt of the documents, the court adjudicating the case may enter an Order of Discharge, a document stating that the personal representative has properly executed all his
/her duties for the interested parties.
An interested person can object to a Petition for Discharge. In such cases, the court will hold a hearing before finally entering the Order of Discharge to close the estate. Accordingly, the court might agree to alter the Petition for Discharge or the Plan of Distribution before closing the estate altogether.
Can You Reopen a Closed Probate Estate in Florida? – Taking a Closer Look
In many cases, the probate court may administratively close an estate subject to probate. Therefore, while the personal representative is not discharged, the administration of the estate remains suspended until a new court order determines otherwise.
The administrative closing of an estate happens in situations where the estate is not closed within the deadline initially set forth by the court. In most cases, the deadline is twelve months counting from the date of issuance of Letters of Administration.
It is also possible in situations wherein a personal representative dies, becomes mentally or physically incapable of executing the estate or simply loses interest in fulfilling the role.
It is crucial to note that these provisions apply to estates executed under formal administration. Under Florida summary administration, the estate subject to probate is neither opened nor closed, as no personal representative is appointed.
In summary administration, upon providing proper notice to all interested persons, one of the interested individuals can ask the court to issue an order of summary administration. This way, the court will direct ownership of the decedent’s assets within state custody to their rightful beneficiaries and heirs.
Can You Reopen a Closed Probate Estate in Florida? – As Provided by Law
As provided by Florida Statute §733.903, “the final settlement of an estate and the discharge of the personal representative shall not prevent further administration. The order of discharge may not be revoked based upon the discovery of a will or later will.”
Florida Probate Rule 5.460 specifies that “if, after an estate is closed, additional property of the decedent is discovered or if further administration of the estate is required for any other reason, any interested person may file a petition for further administration of the estate.”
Therefore, “the petition shall be filed in the same probate file as the original administration.” Additionally, the same rule provides that “the petition shall state:
- the name, address, and interest of the petitioner in the estate
- the reason for further administration of the estate
- the description, approximate value, and location of any asset not included among the assets of the prior administration, and
- a statement of the relief sought”
It is crucial noting that “unless required, the court need not revoke the order of discharge, reissue letters, or require bond,” only entering such orders as appropriate.
Do You Need to Reopen a Closed Probate Estate in Florida? – Immediately Contact an Experienced Probate Attorney at Jurado & Associates, P.A.
Do not expose yourself to uncertainty – immediately contact a well-versed probate attorney from Jurado & Associates, P.A. by calling (305) 921-0976 or emailing [email protected] to schedule a consultation.