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What rights does a beneficiary of a will have in Florida Probate Administration?

Posted June 20, 2015 in Florida Probate Litigation

Florida Probate Litigation Blog

Florida Estate Litigation: What rights does a beneficiary have?


In Florida, the beneficiaries of a will have certain rights, which are set forth in the Florida Probate Code, the Florida Probate Rules, and the common law. The most common beneficiary rights are briefly discussed below.

Most beneficiaries are unaware they have rights with respect to the Florida Probate Administration Process. Our goal is to help make sure you aren't lost in the woods.

Right to notice of a Florida Probate Administration:

Once a person is appointed to serve as a personal representative of the estate, a beneficiary has a right to promptly receive a copy of the notice of administration. For more information on what the notice should say, please read section 733.212, Florida Statutes.

Right to petition for a determination of beneficiaries:

If the will is unclear or there is doubt as to the beneficiaries, a person has a right to file a petition in the probate action to determine the beneficiaries of an estate. Section 733.105, Florida Statutes. The petition will resolve who is entitled to receive any part of the property.

Right to petition for determination of beneficial interest:

Similarly a beneficiary has a right to determine what their interest in the estate actually is. In other words, a beneficiary can petition to determine their inheritance. This petition is to resolve the shares and amounts that any person is entitled to receive. Section 733.105, Florida Statutes.

Right to petition to revoke the probate of a will:

A beneficiary of a will, or a beneficiary of a prior will, has a right to commence a proceeding to revoke a will from being probated. Section 733.109, Florida Statutes.

Right to petition to remove personal representative:

If a beneficiary believes it is necessary, a beneficiary may file a petition to remove the personal representative. Section 733.506, Florida Statutes.

Right to object to creditor claim:

Although this is typically something that the Personal Representative handles, any interested person may file a written objection to a creditor's claim made in an estate. Section 733.705, Florida Statutes

Right to Formal Notice in adversary proceedings:

If a person files a lawsuit against the estate, a beneficiary has a right to receive Formal Notice of that lawsuit. See Florida Probate Rule 5.025(c).

Right to request and/or compel a Personal Representative to file an accounting:

Pursuant to Florida Probate Rule 5.345, a beneficiary has a right to receive a an accounting that was filed by the Personal Representative. Additionally, a beneficiary has a right to compel the personal representative to file an accounting if they they have not done so. Lastly, a beneficiary can object to the accounting filed by the personal representative.

Right to petition for interim distribution:

Although pending litigation can delay the distribution of estate property to a beneficiary, that beneficiary can petition for a an interim distribution under certain circumstances. The Florida Probate Code expressly allows a Personal Representative to do a partial distribution. 

Right to petition for determination of exempt and homestead status of real property:

A beneficiary may petition to have real property of the decedent declared protected homestead property pursuant to Florida Probate Rule 5.405. A beneficiary may also petition to determine that certain property is exempt property or family allowance. See Florida Probate Rules 5.406; 5.407

Contact Us:

PersanteZuroweste brings actions on behalf of beneficiaries, or those who believe they should inherit from an estate. If you believe that you may need legal assistance, please contact us at (727) 796-7666.

About PersanteZuroweste

PersanteZuroweste has established a reputation as prominent trial lawyers serving clients throughout Florida. Our office is conveniently located to the Clearwater, St. Petersburg, and Tampa Bay communities.