Irving, TX asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Florida

Q: Can the executor who was appointed by the heirs as there was no will for an estate,

Can the executor who was appointed by the heirs as there was no will for an estate, not show bank documents, and use bank funds to fix up a house instead of selling as is if the heirs aren’t in agreement of it? This is in florida

1 Lawyer Answer
James Clifton
James Clifton
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Fayetteville, GA
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Here are some key points regarding the duties of a personal representative (the person in charge of handling the estate) and the rights of heirs in such situations:

Duties of the Personal Representative

Fiduciary Duty:

The personal representative has a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the estate and its beneficiaries. This means they must manage the estate's assets prudently and transparently.

Transparency and Accountability:

The personal representative is required to keep accurate records and provide an accounting of the estate’s assets, debts, and transactions to the beneficiaries. This includes showing bank documents and other financial records if requested.

Use of Estate Funds:

The personal representative can use estate funds to pay for necessary expenses and debts of the estate. However, significant decisions, such as spending a large amount of money on repairs, should be made in the best interest of the beneficiaries and with their knowledge and consent, especially if it affects the value or sale of estate property.

Rights of the Heirs

Access to Information:

Beneficiaries have the right to request and receive information about the estate's administration, including financial documents and an accounting of how funds are being used.

Objection to Actions:

If beneficiaries disagree with actions taken by the personal representative, such as spending estate funds on repairs instead of selling a property as-is, they have the right to object. This can be done by filing a formal objection with the probate court.

Removal of Personal Representative:

If the personal representative is not fulfilling their duties appropriately, beneficiaries can petition the court to have them removed and replaced. Grounds for removal can include failure to perform duties, mismanagement of the estate, or conflicts of interest.

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