In Florida, your personal representative has a great deal of responsibility and a broad range of duties, making it imperative that you carefully consider who you appoint. Kiplinger reports that the person you select for estate administrator takes over the burden of managing your estate after you die. Not only do they pay creditors and distribute assets, but they may also sell your property according to your wishes and review medical records.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing an administrator for your estate.
Age and health
Your executor must outlive you, so naming a sibling may not be the best choice. Managing even a small estate takes time and effort. If your executor becomes disabled or dies before he or she can complete their duties, it can complicate matters. Choose a successor for your estate administrator or name more than one, each with their own assigned tasks. This can help ensure probate and other processes go smoothly.
Financial standing and responsibility
Many courts require bonding, which is a form of insurance. The bonding company may not extend a bond to your chosen personal representative if it believes him or her unfit for the job. People who declared bankruptcy, have liens and many creditors often cannot obtain a bond. As a result, the court may not approve the administrator you choose. The person named as administrator for your estate should communicate effectively and have a basic understanding of taxes and finances.
Patience and common sense
Your personal representative must follow the wishes outlined in your estate plan, which may mean applying tough love to your beneficiaries. Between the paperwork, court requirements and inventorying your estate before distributing it appropriately, probate is hard work, even with an estate plan. Whomever you choose must remain calm and work through the complicated requirements of being an executor.
Talk through the offer with the person you want to choose to make sure he or she understands the responsibilities fully before you make things final.