Is the personal representative entitled to travel expenses for maintaining and selling the homestead?

Asked over 1 year ago - Miami, FL

My brother is PR. He maintained the homestead for 18 months with no help. He also prepared the house for sale and found a buyer. The house recently passed (outside of probate) to beneficiaries. In addition to his PR salary (discounted), my brother is demanding to be reimbursed 6000 miles (at 55 cents each) for the 15 times he traveled 400 miles round trip exclusively to maintain and sell the house. I refuse to pay him unless the judge FIRST rules his costs valid... meaning an expensive court date.
Is he entitled to travel costs or should they be paid from his PR salary? My mother was aware that he was 200 miles away when she chose him as PR. Three beneficiaries live locally, but we refused to maintain the home without up-front payment.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Joseph Franklin Pippen Jr.

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    Answered . Not sure about your facts about homestead passing outside of probate.
    Was the home listed in the probate petition and order requesting to determine it as homestead or was it a life estate with remainderman named?
    If your brother was named as PR and the heirs wanted him to sell the homstead-I think he would be entitled to reimbursement of expenses to the extent of assets in the estate(not from beneficiaries directly) and approved by a probate judge.
    Fees are not paid from his PR salary.

    The answer given does not imply that an attorney-client relationship has been established and your best course of... more
  2. Stephanie Sauer Woods

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    Answered . I strongly recommend that you meet with a probate attorney, at least for a consultation, to review and discuss the matter. Depending on how you received the accounting or proposed distribution plan, you may be on a deadline to object or forever be barred from doing so. It may be very wise to have an attorney represent you in this matter rather than trying to do it pro se.

  3. Adam S. Bernick

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    Answered . a PR is generally entitled to reimbursement for reasonable expenses. My suggestion is that you retain independent counsel in FL in the county where probate is occurring to review the documents to determine whether it is worth your while, keeping in mind that generally all of his expenses in legal fees are paid by the Estate while you have to pay yours with no guarantee of reimbursement or contribution from relatives.

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