Tampa, FL asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida

Q: My mother passed and in her will it states I am her personal representative giving me full power to sell her home.

I already have a buyer. Do I need to go through probate or can I just go to a title company present the will and sell the home?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Orlando, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: I am very sorry for your loss on the passing of your mom, please accept my condolences for you and you family at this sad and difficult time. No, that will not work, you will want and need to get a copy of the deed, if your mom's name alone is on the deed the property will need to be probated, or at least a Petition to Determine Homestead filed as part of the probate. You cannot use the Will or try to sell the property in the manner that you have described, that will not work. In Florida, you do not become the Personal Representative of the estate until a Petition has been filed and approved by the court. If the property is Homestead, this portion usually will move faster than the rest of probate, but this can vary by county by county and even judge by judge. The reality is, any buyer will have to wait for the probate ot progress and until the court approves your petitions and says it is okay to move forward with approved orders you will be stuck and waiting. I would advise that you follow-up and contact a Florida Probate Attorney in order to get the matter moving. You can start by making a copy of the Will for yourself and then taking the original along with a death certificate (no cause of death short form) to clerk of the court and having it recorded in the county where your mom was a resident/domiciled/had her homestead, it should all be the same. A probate attorney can further advise you on additional details you provide on the specifics on how to move forward with all probate related issues including the real estate.

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