Probate practitioners in Florida have to be familiar with both the Florida Probate Code, and the Florida Probate Rules. The Florida Probate Code is part of our statutes. It’s passed by the legislature and signed by the governor, and located under Title XLII, Chapters 731 – 735 of the Florida Statutes. Just like federal laws, they can only be updated by the legislature (congress) passing them, and the governor (president) signing them.
The Florida Probate Rules, on the other hand are regulatory in nature. They are drafted by the Florida Bar, and are approved by the Florida Supreme Court. Every couple of years or so they are tweaked here and there -either for clarification, or do deal with new issues. The newest version of the rules were approved by the Florida Supreme Court on September 26, 2013, and are located here.
Most of the changes are minor and include updates to:
- Rule 5.060 – Request for Notices and Copies of Pleadings
- Rule 5.110 – Address Designation for Personal Representative or Guardian; Designation of Resident Agent and Acceptance
- Rule 5.230 – Commission to Prove Will
- Rule 5.395 – Notice of Federal Estate Tax Return
- Rule 5.400 – Distribution and Discharge
- Rule 5.404 – Notice of Taking Possession of Protected Homestead
- Rule 5.530 – Summary Administration
- Rule 5.649 – Guardian Advocate
- Rule 5.660 – Proceedings for Removal of Guardian
- Rule 5.681 – Restoration of Rights of Person with Developmental Disability
- Rule 5.696 – Annual Accounting
There is also a new Rule 5.2405 – Service of Notice of Administration on Personal Representative. The biggest change seems to be Rule 5.681 – Restoration of Rights of Person with Developmental Disability – which could be the subject of a future blog post.