Mathis v. Estate of Mathis

Mathis v. Estate of Mathis, --- So.2d --- (Fla. 3d DCA 2015), No. 3D14-2332

This case deals with the ability of a beneficiary to seek further administration of an estate pursuant to Florida Probate Rule 5.460.  The decedent executed a last will leaving her homestead property to her daughter.  The will also provided that if the property was sold for whatever reason, the proceeds from the sale would be divided and distributed among her daughter, her son, and her other children and grandchildren.

For ten years following the decedent's death, the son continued to live at the property. When a tax deed sale was imminent, the daughter filed a petition for administration and sought the appointment of a curator.  The son paid the outstanding property taxes to avoid the tax deed sale.  The curator filed a petition to determine homestead status and the trial court admitted the will to probate.  Once the trial court entered the order determining homestead status, the curator was discharged.  The daughter then sold the property, and the new owners attempted to evict the son.  The son filed a petition seeking subsequent administration, alleging that because his sister had sold the property, he was entitled to his percentage of the proceeds, as well as reimbursement for the property taxes he had paid.  The trial court denied his petition.

The Court reversed and held that pursuant to Florida Probate Rule 5.460(a), the son was entitled to seek subsequent administration of the estate to determine his interest in the estate and to effectuate the provision in the will entitling him to a percentage of the sale proceeds.  


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