elderly woman signing documents with man

Estate planning is overwhelming for many people, so it’s imperative to understand that starting sooner is better than procrastinating this essential process. As such, if you are ready to plan for the future, one of the first and most important considerations you must make is to decide who will serve as your executor. However, many are unaware of how to appoint someone to this role. The following blog explores what an executor does and how to name one with the assistance of a Pasco County, FL estate planning lawyer.

What Is an Executor?

An executor plays a vital role in the estate planning process, as this is the individual you will appoint to oversee the distribution of your estate upon your passing. Generally, this person will be responsible for filing your will with the courts to initiate the probate process, if necessary. They have several additional responsibilities, like informing creditors of your passing, inventorying your estate, distributing assets according to your estate planning documents and maintaining properties until they are passed out.

How Do I Appoint Someone?

To appoint someone, you must first consider who you wish to assume this role. Generally, there are only two legal requirements for an executor – they must be over 18 and of sound mind. However, just because you can appoint anyone to this role doesn’t mean you should. An executor has many responsibilities, so selecting someone up to the task is critical to ensure that your wishes will be met following your death.

Generally, you’ll want to choose someone responsible, not only with completing tasks but also with managing finances. Similarly, you’ll want to select someone honest and trustworthy. This means your cousin who was arrested for fraud and embezzlement may not be the best option to put in charge of your estate.

Once you determine who you would like to serve in this role, you can name them in your will. It’s necessary to consider also naming an alternate option in case your first choice cannot assume the position.

Why Do I Need an Attorney?

Unfortunately, there has been a significant increase in the amount of websites with “DIY” estate planning kits. However, if you are unsure how to complete these documents or leave something out, your wishes may not be met. In many instances, these documents can be deemed invalid, meaning your estate plan will not be carried out according to your wishes but rather by Florida state law.

As such, working with the team at the Law Offices of Matthew J. Jowanna can help you achieve peace of mind that your estate plan will be handled with care. Not only can our team guide you through this complex process, but you can rest assured that everything is legally binding and valid. If you’re ready to start this process, contact us today to learn more.