Florida Probate Law - Removal of Executor

by Jean from Mohave Valley, Arizona

My grandmother passed away in February. The probate Executor is not handling it according to the will or our grandmother's wishes.

I don't have any money, but I just contacted my aunt's lawyer and he said, yes I should probably get a lawyer. Can you help?

Answer to Florida Court Forms Question

Dear Jean,

You don't explain who you mean by "she" in your question.

I'm guessing that "she" is the Personal Representative or Executrix of your grandmother's will.

I'm also guessing that your grandmother lived in Florida before she died.

According to an online legal encyclopedia Enotes.com, the duties of an Executor of an estate are as follows:

  • Locating, inventorying, and obtaining an appraisal of the assets of the decedent

  • Receiving payments owed to the estate, including unpaid salary, vacation pay, or other benefits due the decedent

  • Opening a checking account for the estate

  • Determining how property is distributed

  • Noticing potential creditors

  • Investigating the validity of claims against the estate

  • Paying bills, debts, valid claims and expenses of administrating the estate

  • Discontinuing utilities and credit cards, closing accounts and notifying appropriate private and governmental agencies of the death

  • Filing and paying income and estate taxes

  • Closing the probate

Removing a personal representative is difficult unless there is serious wrongdoing.

Probate is very complicated, and I urge you to seek counsel.

You may find this article titled, Vexatious Attorney Conduct Results in Removal of Executor by Attorney Juan Antunez, 2007, on his Florida Probate and Trust Litigation Blog, helpful.

Notice: We provide these answers to the general public and our website visitors as a means to further their online legal research. These answers are merely suggestions and should not be regarded as legal advice.

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Property Rights & Probate Law
by: Alli from New Tampa, Florida, Hillsborough County

Who gets the house after a death? I live in Florida. My husband has a 7 yr old child from a previous marriage. He had a house built during he & his ex-wife's separation.

I'm not sure if the house was completed/closed on before or after the divorce was final as they both occurred in the same month. My husbands name is the only name on the mortgage & deed to our house. He does not have a will. In the event of his death who would get the house?

--The first thing to do is ask your husband to prepare a will. You, as his wife, are first in line to inherit, but it will be much simpler if you are on his will. You stated that you are not on the mortgage and deed to your house.

My suggestion is that for your own protection you ask your husband to add your name to the deed. Adding a relative's name to a deed is a simple matter, and does not require re-financing the mortgage (the note). As far as I know, you don't even need to inform the mortgage lender that he has added your name to the deed. Following are some parts of the Florida Probate Code:

732.101 Intestate estate.

(1) Any part of the estate of a decedent not effectively disposed of by will passes to the decedent's heirs as prescribed in the following sections of this code.

(2) The decedent's death is the event that vests the heirs' right to the decedent's intestate property.

732.102 Spouse's share of intestate estate.
The intestate share of the surviving spouse is:

(1) If there is no surviving lineal descendant of the decedent, the entire intestate estate.

(2) If there are surviving lineal descendants of the decedent, all of whom are also lineal descendants of the surviving spouse, the first $60,000 of the intestate estate, plus one-half of the balance of the intestate estate. Property allocated to the surviving spouse to satisfy the $60,000 shall be valued at the fair market value on the date of distribution.

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