Depending on the size and value of a decedent’s estate, Florida law may require the estate to be settled through formal probate administration. In such cases, the court must appoint a personal representative to administer the estate.
In this article, you will understand the personal representative’s proof of claim in Florida probate.
Florida Probate vs. Creditors’ Claims – Understanding the Concept
When a decedent’s estate is opened for probate in Florida, creditors with an interest in the estate may file claims to receive the amount owed to them. It is not rare to find cases of Florida residents who die with outstanding debts, unpaid bills, and similar liabilities.
In such cases, state law requires the decedent’s estate to go through formal administration. Also referred to as the “executor,” the personal representative must handle any claims filed against the estate.
Please note that filing a claim against an estate does not mean it will be automatically deemed valid and paid by the personal representative. Instead, the personal representative must check each claim to verify whether it is valid.
Creditors must pay attention to the statutory deadlines established by Florida law. Any claims filed outside the legal deadline will be forever barred.
What is a Personal Representative’s Proof of Claim Florida? – In Detail
Once the claims have been filed against the estate, the personal representative must assess the validity of each claim to determine whether it must be objected to or paid. In certain cases, an interested person (e.g., a beneficiary of the estate) may file an objection to a creditor claim.
If the claim is deemed valid, it must be paid according to the order of preference established by the Florida Probate Code.
Florida Statutes §733.703 (2) outlines that “the personal representative may file a proof of claim of all claims he or she has paid or intends to pay. A claimant whose claim is listed in a personal representative’s proof of claim shall be deemed to have filed a statement of the claim listed. Except as provided otherwise in this part, the claim shall be treated as if the claimant had filed it.”
Florida Probate Rule 5.498 (a) specifies that “a personal representative’s proof of claim shall state:
- The basis for each claim
- The amount claimed
- The name and address of the claimant
- The security for the claim (if any)
- Whether the claim is matured, unmatured, contingent, or unliquidated
- Whether the claim has been paid or is to be paid, and
- That any objection to a claim listed as to be paid shall be filed no later than 4 months from first publication of the notice to creditors or 30 days from the date of the filing of the proof of claim, whichever occurs later”
Florida Probate Rule 5.498 (b) adds that “the proof of claim shall be served at the time of filing or promptly thereafter on all interested persons.”
Probate Does Not Need to be Overwhelming – Immediately Work with an Expert Florida Probate Attorney
A well-versed legal advisor in Florida probate law, Attorney Romy B. Jurado willingly wants to help you. Contact us today by calling (305) 921-0976 or emailing [email protected] to schedule a consultation.