Q: Hi,How do I file an objection to a "Consent to appointment of personal representative" in the state of Florida?
My mother passed away two years ago intestate. My father was named as personal representative but unfortunately he passed away, also intestate, before probate was completed. There are five siblings and one has secured an attorney (the one my father already paid) and is trying to be named as the successor personal representative. None of the remaining siblings trust her and we feel she is already stealing assets. She has told us my parents wanted her to get everything. She served us with a "Waiver of priority, Consent to appointment, Waiver of service". How can we file an objection without getting an attorney that we can't afford? The rest of us can all agree on one person to represent us.
A: Dear Kim,
If the rest of the siblings want to appoint someone else, one of you is going to have to retain an attorney to represent you to file a counter petition for administration which requests that sibling be appointed personal representative and then have the siblings who support that petitioner file their waivers and consents to appointment of the that sibling.
All other things being equal, the person with the majority of consents to their appointment will be appointed.
Your sister did not serve you with a waiver. She sent you a proposed waiver and asked you to sign it. If you don't sign it, then there will likely be a hearing on her appointment; however, if no one else has filed their counter petition, then it may be likely that she will be appointed. If your father was your mother's 100% heir, you also have the issue of opening your father's estate under which estate there would be a distribution ultimately to the children.
If there is cash in the estate, then anyone who goes out of pocket to hire an attorney and is then appointed personal representative will be able to be reimbursed out of the estate funds. If there are no funds and only real estate, for example, then typically the heirs pitch in and share the cost of the estate administration.
First step is hiring an attorney. You will need one if you are going serve as personal representative. And remember, if there is cash in the estate, then your out of pocket expense to retain the attorney will be reimbursed to you as an estate expense but only if you succeed in being appointed personal representative.
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