In Florida, Letters of Administration allow the probate estate to be administered by the Personal Representative.
Letters of Administration are a type of court order issued by a probate court in connection with a formal probate. The Letters of Administration are issued in favor of the court-appointed Personal Representative ("PR") and they grant to the PR the authority needed to administer the deceased person's probate estate. In contrast, in a summary probate no PR is appointed and no Letters are issued. In effect, the Letters of Administration put the PR in the shoes of the deceased person, allowing the PR to gather information, take control of estate assets and deal with creditors. An example of how Letters of Administration work would be in the case of a person who dies leaving a bank account in their sole name. If a family member asks the bank for information about the account or attempts to remove any money, the bank most likely will refuse since the family member has no authority with regard to the account. However, if a probate is filed and Letters of Administration are issued to the PR, then the PR can inquire about the account, can remove the estate funds, and the bank must cooperate.