Party Reasonably Expected to Pursue a Personal Injury Cause of Action Against an Estate Is a Creditor Entitled to Actual Notice That the Probate Proceedings Are Pending

Longmire v. Estate of Ruffin, 2005 WL 2016944 (Fla. 4th DCA August 24, 2005) (Trial Court Reversed)

This Fourth District Court of Appeals opinion should make clear once and for all that if a personal representative should reasonably expect that the estate will be sued by a particular party, F.S. § 733.2121(3)(a) requires that the personal representative treat that potential plaintiff like a creditor entitled to actual notice that the probate proceedings are pending. Although this case involved a personal injury cause of action, there is no reason to believe the applicable rule would be different with respect to any other type of cause of action. Lesson learned: if a personal representative wants to take full advantage of the liability shield created by F.S. § 733.702(1), potential plaintiffs must receive actual notice that the probate proceedings are pending.

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