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Wills have executors, trusts have trustees

When a loved one passes away, people in Florida who have been named as executors will often have a lot of questions. Typically, a person will name an executor with a provision in his or her will. In cases where the estate is to be distributed primarily by means of a trust, the person responsible for overseeing the distribution will be named in the trust as the trustee. Either way, the person named has financial duties to the estate and the heirs or beneficiaries.

If the estate is a complicated one, it might be a good idea to simply hire a professional executor or to solicit the advice of a professional to assist with the administration of the estate. It is also advisable to seek professional assistance if the heirs or beneficiaries are likely to be unreasonable. An attorney might be able to help the person navigate the probate process in such cases.

Probate is the legal mechanism by which the will is proven valid, the decedent's assets are identified and appraised, the debts of the estate are paid and the remaining assets distributed to heirs. Not all assets are required to go through probate. Many individuals and couples put their biggest assets into a living trust in order to avoid the expense and inconvenience of probate. The estate typically pays the costs of probate.

Individuals in Florida who have been appointed as trustee or executor might want to speak with an attorney. A lawyer might also be able to help people who would like to create or update their estate plans. He or she might help the client identify important assets and create a living trust through which to distribute them, avoiding the cost and delay of probate. An attorney who handles estate administration & probate might also help ensure that beneficiary designations are correct for life insurance policies, retirement accounts and other valuable assets.

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