In In re Amendments To Florida Probate Rules, — So.2d —-, 2007 WL 1932256 (Fla. Jul 05, 2007), the Florida Supreme Court adopted several amendments to our probate rules, all of which were proposed by the Florida Probate Rules Committee.  The following is the explanatory preamble to the rule changes, all of which will become effective on January 1, 2008:


On January 29, 2007, the Florida Probate Rules Committee (Committee) filed a regular-cycle report recommending amendments to several of the Florida Probate Rules, as well as the adoption of two new rules. The Committee proposes amendments to existing rules 5.040 (Notice); 5.041 (Service of Pleadings and Papers); 5.200 (Petition for Administration); 5.210 (Probate of Wills Without Administration); 5.241 (Notice to Creditors); 5.490 (Form and Manner of Presenting Claims); 5.496 (Form and Manner of Objecting to Claim); 5.498 (Personal Representative’s Proof of Claim); 5.499 (Form and Manner of Objecting to Personal Representative’s Proof of Claim); 5.530 (Summary Administration); 5.650 (Resignation or Disqualification of Guardian; Appointment of Successor); 5.670 (Termination of Guardianship on Change of Domicile of Resident Ward); 5.697 (Magistrate’s Review of Guardianship Accountings and Plans); and 5.710 (Reports of Public Guardian). It further proposes the adoption of two new rules: rules 5.095 (General and Special Magistrates) and 5.645 (Management of Property of Nonresident Ward by Foreign Guardian).


After the Committee filed its report with the Court, the Court published the proposed amendments in The Florida Bar News. Sean O. Cadigan and Keela Roberts Samis, both members of The Florida Bar, filed a joint comment, the only one filed. Cadigan and Samis, both of whom have served as magistrates in probate cases, suggested the addition of a sentence to the end of subdivision (e) in rule 5.697 to read: “The magistrate shall be required to file a report only if a hearing is held pursuant to subdivision (d) of this rule or if specifically directed to do so by the court.” They believed the additional sentence would make it clear that a magistrate would not need to prepare and file a magistrate’s report or adhere to the exception period when the magistrate assists the court in the review of guardianship reports, but does not conduct a hearing to review the report.

In its response to the comment, the Committee agreed that the addition of the sentence proposed by Cadigan and Samis would avoid a possible misinterpretation of the rules and asked the Court to incorporate the sentence proposed by Cadigan and Samis into its proposal.


Having taken the proposed amendments, the comment, and the Committee’s response into consideration, we hereby adopt the amendments to the Florida Probate Rules as set forth in the appendix to this opinion, including the additional sentence at the end of subdivision (e) in rule 5.697, suggested by Cadigan and Samis. New language is indicated by underscoring; deletions are indicated by struck-through type. The committee notes are offered for explanation only and are not adopted as an official part of the rules. The amendments will become effective on January 1, 2008, at 12:01 a.m.