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Would a court make the spouse the administrator over the estate if the spouse is the person the siblings are having conflict.

Inverness, FL |

My father passed away on 7-9-13 in Inverness Fl. and me and my 2 brothers are trying to decide how we can get our Mother and fathers heirlooms and anything else we are entitled to from the estate. There is no will as far as we know. If we put this in probate, will a court appoint the spouse as the administrator since that is who we are trying to work with to get the stuff? She is a second wife to my dad.

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Attorney answers 5


If there is no will, the spouse has the first claim to be appointed as administrator under the rules of intestacy (dying without a will).

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The spouse would be first in line. As far as getting property you wish to have there is a statute that speaks to who gets what proportions but if you are talking about specific unique items you will be well advised to have appraisals done and work out an amicable deal with the administrator. Keep in mind if she does not want to serve or for some reason is not fit someone else could be named but that would be a somewhat lengthy process.

This is not legal advice nor intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided here is informational in nature only. This attorney may not be licensed in the jurisdiction which you have a question about so the answer could be only general in nature. Visit Steve Zelinger's website:


You need to discuss this with an attorney. Depending on the assets in the estate you may have some claim to a part of the estate. The other attorneys are correct that the spouse has priority. Also, unless specified in a will, the contents of the home and personal property will go to the spouse. If there are items that are of particular importance to you, maybe she would agree to work something out.

The above answer is not to be considered legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. You should consult your attorney for specific legal advice as to your individual situation.


Judicial appointment of the PR is according to priority; 1) the spouse, 2) if there is a disagreement, then it is the person nominated by the most number of heirs, so you could hire a probate attorney to issue a challenge to the spouse becoming PR.

Carol Johnson Law Firm, P.A. : (727) 647-6645 : : 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.



Thank you Carol. You have been very helpful answering my questions. this is a very tough time for me and my brothers. My mother died in 1986 on a Thursday. we buried her that Saturday. My Dad and what was supposed to be my Dad's best friend hooked up that Monday. My mother passed away on May 22nd and my Dad and my mothers best friend were married on July 21st. Not even 2 months after my mother passed away. Now my Dads wife has my mothers and fathers things and we really need to get this all taken care of after all of these years of heartache. My brother spoke with a lawyer and the lawyer told him we were entitled to half of the estate including the home. But the home was in both my father's and his wife's name. Is what the Lawyer told my brother correct? Thanks so much.

Carol Anne Johnson

Carol Anne Johnson


From just the facts that you have presented here, the answer would be "No." However, the lawyer your brother spoke to may have additional information that is meaningful, but not mentioned here - still, if her name is on the deed, that means she is an owner of the home and cannot be ousted from her ownership. What I am thinking is that the other lawyer when he/she said "half the estate" is including your father's half ownership of the house in that remark - not the entire house. In that case he/she is absolutely correct. You and your siblings would get half of your father's SHARE of the home and the spouse would get the other half, giving her a 3/4 share of the property and you and the other siblings 1/4 share. Good luck.


Not necessarily. There should be a hearing to appoint your step mother as personal representative. You should file an objection with the court so it understands your position, and if possible attend the hearing. The judge always has the final say, but sometimes a judge will utilize an administrator ad litem who would be a disinterested third party and would only administer the estate pursuant to the intestacy statutes.

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