A carefully drafted will is the cornerstone of any estate plane. Your will should provide a clear set of instructions for how your remains and estate should be disposed of after your death. Additionally, you need to choose a person to execute your last wishes. When naming an executor for your will, it is vital that you choose someone you trust unconditionally. Consider candidates who are:
- Good communicators – The process of distributing your estate requires an individual with good people skills. The executor of your will must reach out to heirs and beneficiaries, property evaluation experts, and other professionals to ensure preservation of your legacy.
- Organized – Whether you have a large estate spread out over many locations, or a single homestead, the person you name as executor of your estate must be organized. After your death, numerous affairs must be handled. Without proper organizational skills, your executor will become lost and overwhelmed.
- Honest – When selecting an individual to distribute your estate, make sure you choose someone who is honest and trustworthy.
Executing a will is an important responsibility. Typically, people choose their sibling, spouse, partner, or child. It is important to remember that age, illness, or other unforeseen circumstances may render your choice unable to perform their duties. Additionally, there is a chance that your choice may decline the job. As a result, it is a good idea to also name an alternative executor.
An executor uses an estate’s money to carry out their duties. These are some of the common responsibilities expected of an executor:
- Paying the estate’s taxes
- Distributing estate assets in accordance with the decedent’s will
- Paying bills for the estate
- Making court appearances for the estate
- Maintaining property until the estate is settled
If you are named executor of an estate, contact an experienced lawyer. A legal professional can guide you through the process and ensure you make decisions with confidence.
Legal requirements for being an executor in Florida
To be legally eligible to execute a will in Florida, you must be at least 18 years of age and mentally capable. Individuals with felony convictions are prohibited from executing wills. Generally, it is a good idea to name an executor close to you who can handle legal matters, make court appearances, etc. However, you may need to choose someone who is out of state. Keep in mind that in Florida, you may nominate a person as an out-of-state executor so long as they are related to you by blood, marriage, or adoption.
Contact dedicated estate planning lawyers in Central Florida
Since 1999, the Law Offices of Hoyt & Bryan has served estate planning clients throughout the Orlando area. If you need legal guidance drafting a will, or developing a sound estate plan, call (407) 977-8080, or contact us online to discuss your case with a skilled estate planning attorney.