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The importance of the estate executor

The executor of the estate has several responsibilities when it comes to resolving a loved one’s will.

In the midst of mourning the death of a close friend or loved one, some people may be called on to act as the executor of the deceased person's estate. When creating a will, people in Florida will often name the beneficiaries who they want to receive the property and assets that they have accumulated throughout their lives. Upon their death, these possessions will be passed onto those beneficiaries under the direction of the estate executor.

What does an executor do?

The executor of the estate is responsible for ensuring that the details of the deceased person's last will and testament are carried out according to his or her specific wishes. In some cases, executing the terms of a will can be a somewhat simple process. There are other situations, however, where estate executors may feel overwhelmed with the responsibilities that they are faced with during this hard time. One small oversight or mistake in how the estate is handled could leave the executor personally liable for any money that is lost due to his or her error.

According to Forbes, the duties of the estate executor include but are not limited to the following:

  • Enter the will in the probate process and fill out all of the proper documentation if needed.
  • Pay all remaining creditors and funeral expenses with money from the estate.
  • Locate beneficiaries listed in the will and ensure they get the property that the deceased wished them to have.
  • Close any financial accounts, claim insurance policies and file final tax forms with the state and federal government.

The executor of the estate is ultimately responsible for taking care of any loose ends the deceased has left, and making sure that all business is taken care of.

Appointing an executor

While some people provide the name of the person that they would like to be the executor of their will upon their death, others do not. In these situations, the court may appoint an administrator to the case. This appointed executor will act on the behalf of the deceased person and ensure that his or her property and assets are distributed according to their wishes.

People who are named as an executor in a loved one's will are not legally required to uphold the position. People may choose to decline the position if they do not feel as though they are able to carry out the important tasks associated with executing a will. If this should happen, the court will choose an administrator to handle the estate.

Getting direction

Whether you have been appointed as the executor of an estate or you are simply dealing with the aftermath of a loved one's death, a Florida lawyer may be extremely helpful. In addition to answering any questions you may have regarding your case, an attorney may help you explore your legal options and reduce your stress during this hard time.

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