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Florida calling for more probate judges

The Florida Supreme Court has recently put the state Legislature on notice to the fact that Florida needs more judges. The State’s highest court cited the large number of cases, the increased complexity of those cases and new legislation as the primary reason for requesting 32 new judges.

One of the biggest areas of need is in probate, where filings have increased six percent since last year. This reality may not be on the radars of the average Floridian, but it can have a significant impact if you are asked to administer an estate.

Generally, a person will name an executor or personal representative in their will. This person is tasked with organizing and collecting all assets of the estate and making distributions to the heirs. As a result of this important position, the representative has certain duties which they owe to the other beneficiaries. Since an executor or personal representative does not regularly perform such tasks, though, they often lean on others for help.

In the past, local probate judges may have had time to walk a representative through the administration of an estate to ensure their duties were being met. Now, however, judges are overworked and have little resources to do legwork for confused parties.

Local Fort Myers and Lee County probate attorneys, however, can provide an even better service. These individuals can represent the executor during the entirety of the probate process. Not only do they make things easier by coordinating the organization and distribution of assets, but they also protect the executor from liability by ensuring all statutory requirements are met.

Source: Ocala.com, “State needs more judges,” April Warren, December 29, 2014

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