Some people pass away leaving only their home or other real estate behind.
Estates that are made up almost exclusively of real estate and personal items are subject to the same guidelines as any other estate.
Illiquid estates – estates where there is no cash – present unique challenges for the distribution of assets to beneficiaries and family members of the decedent.
What is Florida Estate Planning Law?
If you are a personal representative in Florida, you might consider selling estate property during the administration process to pay outstanding debts and to distribute to the beneficiaries of an estate.
According to Florida Probate Code, the personal representative’s discretion to sell assets of the estate depends on whether the property is real estate (dirt) or personal property (belongings).
In selling assets, the personal representative will act under the authority set forth in the Last Will or under the supervision of the court.
Selling Personal Property
Generally, the sale of personal belongings is left to the discretion of the personal representative.
According to Florida Probate Code 733.612, “a personal representative, acting reasonably for the benefit of the interested persons, may properly sell, mortgage, or lease any personal property of the estate or any interest in it for cash, credit, or for part cash or part credit, and with or without security for the unpaid balance.”
Personal property that has not been specifically devised might be sold at an estate sale or through a licensed auctioneer.
Selling Real Estate
Selling real estate can be more complicated than selling personal belongings.
Florida Probate Code 733.613 stipulates the conditions for the sale of real property during estate administration.
Ideally, the Last Will left by a decedent will contain a “power of sale clause,” which allows the personal representative to sell real property without seeking an order from the probate court.
If the decedent passed away without leaving a Last Will, or the Last Will did not include a power of sale clause, a personal representative must obtain court approval before he or she can sell real property.
Anytime a court order is required, the process for selling real property can take additional time and incur additional costs.
Consulting with a trusts and estates attorney
If you have questions about your obligations as a personal representative of an estate, it is important for you to consult an experienced trusts and estates attorney to ensure you meet the decedent’s wishes while protecting your rights.
At the Law Offices of Hoyt & Bryan, we serve clients across Florida and are prepared to address your legal questions following the death of a loved one.
Give us a call at (407) 977-8080 or contact us online to set up a consultation with us today.