Executors of estates have many responsibilities. One of the many tasks that you’re responsible for handling is the division of assets among a decedent’s heirs. This is much more involved than it seems on the surface.
Most individuals create an inventory of their valuable items when they draft their will. Testators then generally list who they want to inherit when they pass on. Most testators keep the contents of their will private. It’s only once their will is filed with the probate court in their county that their final wishes become known to their potential heirs. This doesn’t stop these individuals from trying to lay claim to certain items that they want long before this happens though.
Potential heirs have a way of coming out of the woodwork when they know that a testator has died. If an individual has long had their eyes on a particular item belonging to the estate, then they’re likely to be first in line to try to swoop it up, whether they ask the executor if they can have it or not.
It’s the executor’s responsibility to safeguard all of the estate’s assets though. They must have them both inventoried and appraised. It’s only after creditors have been paid off and the decedent’s final tax return has been filed that the executor may distribute those assets to any heirs as prescribed in the testator’s will.
A personal representative risks being held personally liable for any debts or squandered assets if they do anything other than this. This doesn’t mean all executors hold out on distributing assets until the end though.
It’s quite common for Miami executors to distribute more nominal, sentimental items to a decedent’s loved ones long before a case is fully probated. Executors tend to hold on to valuables such as stocks and bonds, real estate and collectibles, all costly items that may be liquidated to pay debtors or are often earmarked for heirs.
There are certain processes that you may need to follow to transfer these different valuable assets to heirs when it comes time to do so. If can be helpful to have an experienced, compassionate and professional attorney guide you through the process of distributing assets to heirs. This may be particularly helpful if you are serving as a Florida executor for the first time.