Estate planning involves making many careful decisions. When writing a will, determining who receives specific assets is not the only part of the process. Choosing an executor of the estate becomes a critical task because the selected individual serves as the testator’s personal representative. As executor, the person handles various tasks necessary to close probate in Florida courts.
Choosing an executor
An estate planner may benefit from choosing a knowledgeable and responsible person for the job. An executor handles asset distribution and must perform the duties timely and honestly. Otherwise, probate could face delays, and a dishonest executor may get into legal trouble. An honest but incompetent executor could cause beneficiaries to take legal action to replace him or her.
When choosing an executor, it may be advisable to find out who wants to do the job. Naming an executor who refuses the responsibilities means the court may appoint someone else. That person might be someone the testator does not want to handle the job.
Responsibilities of the executor
Estate administration may involve numerous responsibilities that fall on an executor’s shoulders. The executor must settle all debts with creditors before distributing assets. Also, the executor would need to file any required tax forms on the deceased’s behalf.
An executor might need to sell real estate property if so stipulated in the will. The executor may have to take action to purchase insurance for any homes or vehicles. Some policies may expire soon after the policyholder dies, so purchasing insurance in the estate’s name becomes necessary.
The executor might have to continue paying bills, such as utilities, until transferring ownership and closing out the estate. Again, the person placed in the job should possess the required skills and a willingness to perform the tasks. Taking careful steps to choose the best person for the job could make things less stressful for the beneficiaries relying on the executor.