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Is your chosen personal representative qualified to serve?

On Behalf of | Mar 6, 2024 | Trust & Estate Planning

Despite ensuring that your chosen personal representative possesses your non-negotiable qualities, you need to verify that the probate court will accept their appointment. You don’t want to spend years providing your personal representative with knowledge about their role and your estate only for a new party to be appointed at the last minute. 

Here is what the probate court may consider to determine if your nominated party is qualified to serve in that position:


Your chosen personal representative should be a Florida resident or, regardless of residence, your spouse, child, parent, sibling or any other close relative. If a party is not a resident of Florida or your close relative, they can’t be your personal representative.


To serve in Florida, a personal representative must be 18 years old and mentally or physically able to perform their duties. Consider requesting your chosen party to have their mental capacity assessed to have proof of capacity. If they ever become incapacitated, you may need to name another party.

Conviction for a felony

Any individual convicted of a felony cannot serve as a personal representative in Florida. Further, a party convicted in any state or foreign jurisdiction of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of an elderly person or a disabled adult is not qualified to serve as a personal representative.

Is your will valid?  

Besides considering the above-discussed statutory qualifications, confirm that your will is valid. It should follow state laws regarding drafting, signing and witnessing it. If your will is invalid, the probate court may not appoint your personal representative despite being qualified to serve. 

You need to be extra careful about every decision you make during estate planning. Legal guidance can help you avoid mistakes that can nullify your wishes.