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Can I be the pers rep for both my sister and her husband who are Florida residents if I live in Ohio? Or only for my sister?

Lakeland, FL |

My sister and brother-in-law would both like to name me as their Personal Representative in their will but I read the qualifications of who may be named and since I am not a FL resident there are special rules. I believe I have to be a blood relative if I understand it. If that's true, then I would qualify to be my sister's PR but would not qualify to be my brother-in-law's PR. I am looking for confirmation of that or a better understanding. Thank you.

Attorney Answers 5


  1. The will determines who will be the personal representative, if it so nominates. The courts prefer to act upon the wishes of the deceased, where possible. The caveat is that the law reads that while the will nomination takes precedence, the judge then secondarily looks to see if the personal representative is "legally qualified". As you have noticed, the qualifications can be very specific. As a non-resident, you must have a familial relationship with the deceased. So, you could act as PR for your sister, but not her husband.

    Carol Johnson Law Firm, P.A. : (727) 647-6645 : carol@caroljohnsonlaw.com : Wills, Trusts, Real Property, Probate, Special Needs: Information provided here is anecdotal and should not be relied upon or considered legal advice. Every matter is different and answers given here are general in nature and may not reflect current Florida law at the time you are reading this posting. Please contact me if you feel you need additional assistance with your matter.


  2. Typically an in law who is located outside of the State of Florida would not be qualified to serve, since there is no blood relation. There are several cases in Florida distinguishing this type of relationship, but I would agree that you would not qualify to serve as your brother-in-law's PR.


  3. Your reading of the statute is the same as mine for a nonresident brother-in-law.

    The response given is general in nature and based upon limited information. It does not and cannot replace that of a proper consultation with a qualified attorney. You should not act upon this Information alone, but should seek legal counsel prior to taking any action.


  4. This appears to be a duplicate of your other question. You got some excellent answers, the last time around. You should have your sister and brother-in-law visit an estate planning attorney and ask about establishing a trust. This will avoid probate and will allow you to act as Successor Trustee, in spite of being out of state.

    James Frederick

    ***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ***************************************** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state. I hope you our answer helpful!


  5. I disagree -a non-resident spouse of a relative can serve as personal representative under Florida Statute 733-304(4)

    The answer given does not imply that an attorney-client relationship has been established and your best course of action is to have legal representation in this matter.

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