This article is Part I of a five part series pertaining to Florida’s elective share. The following procedures and time periods apply to an elective share:

Time of Election:  An election to take the elective share must be filed on or before the earlier of the date that is 6 months after the date of service of a copy of the notice of administration, or the date that is 2 years after the date of the decedent’s death §732.2135(1), F.S.  However, you may petition the court for an extension of time for making an election. §732.2135(2), F.S.  Bar Form No. P-4.0540. Bar Form No. P-4.0540.

Withdrawal of Election: An election may be withdrawn at any time within 8 months after the decedent’s death and before the court’s order of contribution. §732.2135(3), F.S.

Notice of Election:  Upon receipt of an election, the personal representative must serve a notice of election within 20 days following service of the election together with a copy of the election on all interested persons in the manner provided for service of formal notice. Fla. Prob. R. 5.360(b)(3). Bar Form No. P-4.0545.

Objection to Election: Within 20 days after service of the notice of election, an interested person may serve an objection to the election. Fla. Prob. R. 5.360(b)(3)(B) and 5.360(b)(4).

Order Determining Entitlement to the Elective Share: (a) If no objection to the election is timely served, the court must enter an order determining the spouse’s entitlement to the elective share. (b) If an objection to the election is timely served, the court must determine the surviving spouse’s entitlement to the elective share after notice and hearing. Fla. Prob. R. 5.360(c). Bar Form No. P-4.0555.

Petition to Determine the Amount of the Elective Share: The personal representative must file and serve a petition to determine the amount of the elective share within 60 days after entry of the order determining entitlement to the elective share. If the personal representative does not file the petition to determine the amount of the elective share within 90 days from rendition of the order of entitlement, the electing spouse or the attorney-in-fact or the guardian of the property or personal representative of the electing spouse may file the petition specifying as particularly as is known the value of the elective share.  Fla. Prob. R. 5.360(d)(1), 5.360(d)(2) and 5.360(d)(3).  Bar Form No.’s P-4.0560 and P-4.0570.

Inventory of the Elective Estate: The inventory of the elective estate required by Fla. Prob. R. 5.340 must be served within 60 days after entry of the order determining entitlement to the elective share. Fla. Prob. R. 5.360(d)(2) and 5.340(g).

Objection to Amount of Elective Share: Within 20 days after service of the petition to determine the amount of the elective share, an interested person may serve an objection to the amount of or distribution of assets to satisfy the elective share.  Fla. Prob. R. 5.360(d)(4).

Determination of Amount of Elective Share and Contribution: (a) If no objection is timely served to the petition to determine the amount of the elective share, the court must enter an order on the petition. (b) If an objection is timely served to the petition to determine the amount of the elective share, the court must determine the amount of the elective share and contribution after notice and hearing. Fla. Prob. R. 5.360(d)(5). Bar Form No.’s P-4.0565 an