Person signing real estate documents

Do I Need a Petition to Sell Real Property in Florida?

Personal representatives have an incredible amount of responsibility when settling an estate in Florida. One of the most common tasks they have to perform involves handling real estate, whether that means selling it or making sure that title passes on to the heirs. Representatives may need permission from the court to sell real property in certain circumstances, so knowing the requirements is crucial if you want to administer the estate correctly. 

Florida Probate and Personal Representatives

A personal representative (i.e., executor) is responsible for the vast majority of tasks associated with settling a decedent’s estate. These can include notifying creditors and heirs, paying taxes, completing an asset inventory, and handling real estate. A will can designate someone to act as a personal representative for the estate, or a probate judge can appoint someone to fill the role. Either way, a personal representative’s duties are paramount to the successful distribution and administration of the estate’s assets and debts. 

Petition to Sell Real Property

While some wills may have a clause that grants a personal representative the power to sell the estate’s real property, not all do. The Florida Probate Code outlines when a representative has the authority to sell a decedent’s real property. Making things more complex, probate courts in some Florida jurisdictions place additional restrictions on the process of acquiring court approval to sell property. 

A petition to sell real property is required in a formal probate administration when a personal representative has not been given the authority to sell an estate’s real property (as per the terms of the deceased’s last will and testament). Normally this occurs when a will does not include the provision to sell property or when someone dies intestate, meaning without a will. In these situations, the personal representative must file a petition to sell real property. This petition means that a judge must grant permission for the representative to sell the property. Only formal probate administrations have a process for court approval of real property; summary administrations do not require a petition to sell.

The Florida probate process involves many parties, from the probate judge and personal representative to the heirs and creditors. When petitioning for approval to sell real property, the personal representative only needs to have permission from the judge, not the heirs. The heirs do need to be notified of the petition, however. They are then allowed to object to the petition to sell real property. 

How Farshchian Law Can Help

Although probate administration is a necessary step in the distribution of assets after the death of a loved one, it can also be a daunting process. In order to effectively navigate probate estate administration in Florida, including the process of selling real property during a probate, you can benefit from the counsel of an experienced Florida probate law attorney. Farshchian Law can help you navigate the Florida probate process and ease the burden on you and your family. To schedule a free consultation, call us at (800) 604-1871, or email us at our secure online contact form. We handle probate matters throughout the State of Florida.