When a loved one in Florida passes away, a person left behind may be surprised to discover that they have been named the executor of the will. This task can come with serious responsibilities, including securing the person’s estate and assets, notifying the beneficiaries named, filing necessary tax returns ant introducing the will into probate court.
There are several tips people can follow to help make the process run more smoothly. It’s best to choose a lawyer familiar with the probate court process. A friend who mainly handles other issues may not have the experience to know everything they need to know. The executor also needs to pay attention to the beneficiaries. Even though many people don’t sign up to be an executor, the position comes with a fiduciary duty, and the executor could be removed for failing to let the beneficiaries know what is happening.
While the executor has a lot of influence, their responsibility is to carry out the wishes of the loved one, not to introduce their own judgments, favor one beneficiary over another or seek personal profit from the role. On the other hand, some executors run away from the job and fail to take action. It is important to keep the process going and complete the probate of the estate.
Being an executor can even come with personal liability. Anyone who finds themselves the executor of a loved one’s might benefit from consulting with a estate administration & probate attorney for advice and guidance on completing the process successfully. Clients may also need to turn to other professionals for assistance, including insurance advisors or accountants, depending on the complexity of the estate and the types of assets involved.