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Compensation As A Florida Personal Representative

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Being the personal representative of an estate is a lot of work. Not only must you submit the deceased’s will to probate court, but you will also need to deal with the estate’s assets and debts. Many people serve as personal representative for their parents or for their spouse but are unaware of the demands the job will make on their time. Fortunately, Florida allows personal representatives to earn compensation for their service.

The Personal Representative’s Duties

The personal representative is responsible for running the deceased person’s estate, which is made up of all assets they owned at the time of death. To that end, you will need to:

  • Publish a notice to creditors that the deceased has passed
  • Pay creditor claims as they come in
  • Safeguard all estate assets
  • Disburse assets to the beneficiaries

Depending on the complexity of the estate, you could be spending hundreds of hours performing your duties. Some personal representatives find it difficult to juggle a full-time job and family responsibilities at the same time.

Reasonable Fee

Helpfully, Florida law allows personal representatives to receive a fee for their services. According to the state’s statute, you earn a fee based on the value of the estate:

  • 3% of the first $1 million
  • 5% for any amount over $1 million and up to $5 million
  • 2% for any amount over $5 million and up to $10 million
  • 5% for any amount above $10 million

For example, if the estate is valued at $500,000, then you can receive $15,000 to act as the personal representative. If the estate is valued at $2 million, then you can receive $55,000 to serve.

Furthermore, Florida law allows personal representatives to receive additional compensation for extraordinary services, such as:

  • Selling real estate
  • Dealing with a protected homestead
  • Participating in tax proceedings for the estate
  • Continuing the deceased person’s business
  • Engaging in litigation for the estate

The probate judge will set an amount that is reasonable. To help maximize the amount you can receive, keep careful records of all the work that you do.

Paying for Help

As you fulfill your duties, you might find that you need professional help. Most personal representatives are not prepared to sell real estate or to handle lawsuits on their own. If a creditor sues the estate, then you will need to defend the estate in court. In addition, tax issues might be too confusing for you to understand without the help of an accountant.

Fortunately, you can hire professional help like lawyers, accountants, and investment advisors to help with the administration of the estate. The estate will pay the fees for this professional help, so you do not have to worry about it.

Speak with a Florida Probate Attorney Today

If you need legal advice as a personal representative, don’t hesitate to reach out to a Florida probate attorney at the Millhorn Elder Law Planning Group. Many of our clients come to us after being named the personal representative and quickly realize that they are overwhelmed. To help you understand the services we provide, we offer a free consultation to potential clients. Contact us today by calling 800-743-9732.

Resource:

flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/2012/733.617

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