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Creating an estate plan can be a complex process, as there are many considerations you must make. From determining what beneficiaries you want to receive which assets to naming a guardian to care for your minor children, this is a necessary process to ensure your assets and beneficiaries are cared for. However, one of the most important considerations you must make during this time is deciding who will serve as the executor of your will. As such, understanding the scope of obligations for this role is critical. Keep reading to learn more about the duties of an executor and why you should connect with a Pasco County, FL wills & trusts lawyer to explore what you should know about this process.

What Obligations Must the Executor of a Will Fulfill?

The role of the executor of a will should not be taken lightly. Generally, the first step an executor must take after the head of an estate has passed is to locate and file the will and notify all interested parties, meaning beneficiaries and creditors, that the head of the estate has passed. If probate is necessary, they will file through the probate court.

Once the will has been filed, the executor can proceed with their tasks. This includes paying any outstanding debts or taxes the head of the estate may have passed without paying and maintaining assets until they can be distributed to the correct beneficiaries as per the wishes of the testator. Additionally, if any beneficiaries try to dispute the validity of the will or their inheritance, the executor is responsible for handling these matters.

What Should I Consider When Appointing Someone to This Role?

Before understanding what characteristics the executor of an estate should have, it’s necessary to understand what legal requirements Florida has for who can fulfill this role. The person you name must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • The person must be at least 18 years old
  • They must be of sound mind
  • They cannot have a felony conviction on their record
  •  They must be a Florida resident

The only exception is that an executor can be from out-of-state so long as they are related to the head of the estate via blood, adoption or marriage.

Just because you can name virtually anyone to serve as your executor, it does not mean you should. It’s imperative to understand that you should appoint someone responsible, trustworthy and able to handle the obligations associated with this role.

Creating an estate plan can be an incredibly complex process. Unfortunately, making an error during this process can invalidate your will, leaving your assets and beneficiaries vulnerable. As such, it’s in your best interest to connect with an experienced attorney to explore your legal options during these times. At the Law Offices of Matthew J. Jowanna, our dedicated legal team is committed to guiding you through this complex process. Connect with us today to learn how we can assist you through these challenging times.