When Are Beneficiaries Notified Following a Death?

The process of notifying beneficiaries after a person's death is not immediate and can take a variable amount of time. This process is dictated by the requirements and timelines of the probate court, as well as the specifics of the individual case.

In Florida, as per the Florida Statutes (2021), particularly under Title XLII Estates and Trusts, Section 733.2121 Notice of administration, filing of objections after the court appoints a personal representative (also known as an executor) to the decedent's estate, this personal representative has a duty to promptly serve a "Notice of Administration" to the following individuals:

  1. The decedent's surviving spouse,

  2. Beneficiaries named in the decedent's will,

  3. The trustee of any trusts, and the beneficiaries of those trusts, if the trusts are designated in the decedent's will, and

  4. Any persons who may be lawfully entitled to share in the estate if it were intestate (if there were no will).

The notice informs these parties of the commencement of the administration process of the decedent's estate. The law further provides that the Notice of Administration should be served within 3 months after the time of filing the original will with the court for probate.

The timeframe can vary widely based on factors such as the complexity of the estate, whether or not the will is contested, and the efficiency of the personal representative. In most situations, beneficiaries can be notified within a few weeks to a few months after a person's death.

Any interested person on whom a copy of the notice of administration is served must object to the validity of the will, the qualifications of the personal representative, the venue, or the jurisdiction of the court by filing a petition or other pleading requesting relief in accordance with the Florida Probate Rules within the later of 3 months after the time of service of the notice or 30 days after the date of service of an objection or further notice under Florida Statutes Section 733.2123.

Florida laws may have been updated or changed since this was answered. We advise consulting with a Florida probate attorney for the most accurate information.

  • Published: Feb 22, 2024
  • Updated: Dec 26, 2023

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This FAQ is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. We make no representations or warranties about this FAQ's completeness, accuracy, reliability, or suitability. Each legal situation is unique. Always consult an attorney for personalized guidance.

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