Serving Florida Seniors Long Distance

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Where to Begin When Selling Mom’s Sarasota house

I’m the fourth of five kids in my family.  By most accounts that would be considered a large family. At one time we were living in seven places – from The Netherlands to Hawaii, and five locations in between. There came a time, however, when everyone felt drawn to re-congregate.  Eventually we found our family all in the same state again.

Another oddity of our family was that both my parents (and my brother) asked me to serve as executor.  I considered it an honor to be asked and didn’t know enough to protest!  Neither parent had vast estates, but living in the same area as they did made my job so much easier.

Here in Florida, many seniors have family who still live “up north” – somewhere other than Florida.  So, for them, choosing an executor means either choosing a local friend or relative (over 18 and never been convicted of a felony), or if they want a specific person to serve as executor from out of state, that person must be a blood relative or someone they’ve officially adopted. 

“Going through probate” is the time it takes to settle the decedent’s estate, and/or proving the person’s will.   Living out of state makes the whole process even more difficult and time consuming.

If there’s no real property to sell, then this informal administration process is referred to as “Disposition of Personal Property Without Administration.”  If there’s no Will in Florida, then an individual will file an application with the court asking to be appointed as personal representative of the estate. The person serving in this capacity has the same duties as he or she would where there is a Will, but there may be more court supervision.

An executor’s duties include gathering the decedent’s assets, paying valid claims against the estate, and then disbursing remaining assets to the heirs according to the terms of the Will.  Performing these duties long-distance is indeed easier today than in the past, but it’s always a great idea to have local advocates to work with, especially if there’s real estate involved.   Choose a local attorney, financial planner, and real estate agent who are each well-versed in Florida probate.  Their guidance will be invaluable, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the laws of the state and the probate process.

I considered it a great honor to be asked to serve as Executor (in Florida the role is referred to as “Personal Representative”). However, once in the midst of the responsibilities, one does have a tendency to question one’s sanity.  Nonetheless, to honor the deceased loved-one, one sees the job through to completion.

Keep in mind that Mom could be faced with a life event that puts her in a position where she won’t be returning to the house and you not only need to sell the home, but you have to find a suitable new living environment for her.

Check back for future blogs that will discuss the daunting job of disposing of the physical belongings that a parent has left behind, or finding that new Florida community where she can thrive.

Over the time I’ve been providing our “Closing The Book” Program for Out-of-State Executors, I’ve met a number of quality Attorneys, Wealth Advisors and CPA’s who’ve answered important questions for me.  I’d be happy to share their contact information with you.  You can reach me at or 404.610.2907.

Jude Creamer, Broker Associate, HomeSmart, specializing in facilitating successful real estate transactions for people in life transitions.

Hi, there!

I'm Jude and I love helping people
who are facing a major life transition
make necessary real estate changes 
gracefully, methodically, and
with the least stress possible. 
Let me know how I can walk you step-by-step down the path to completion. 

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Hi, there!

I'm Jude Creamer and I love helping people facing a major life transition embark on finding their happy place gracefully, methodically and with the
least stress possible.
Let me know how I can walk you step-by-step down the path to your happy place. 



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