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At some point in your life, you may have your loved one approach you with the request of serving as the executor of their last will and testament. But before you agree to be appointed an executor, you must first understand what you are agreeing to exactly. Read on to discover what it means to be appointed an executor and how a seasoned Broward County wills lawyer at The Probate Lawyers can help you ensure all criteria are met.

What does it mean to be appointed an executor of a will?

Essentially, being appointed an executor of a last will and testament means that you may be charged with preserving a testator’s assets and distributing them at the time of their passing. Depending on the specific wishes a testator discloses in their will, you may be expected to fulfill additional duties. For example, you may be expected to coordinate their funeral and burial arrangements.

While being an executor means you are loyal to a testator, you also hold a certain level of duty to the appointed beneficiaries. That is, you have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of the beneficiaries. This may entail fostering open communication with the beneficiaries regarding the status of the estate administration process, along with distributing the full inheritances in which they are owed.

What happens if I cannot fulfill this role?

After you give your word that you are willing and able to fulfill the role of executor, you may undergo life-altering experiences that prove differently. Relevant examples are as follows:

  • You may become mentally or physically incapable of executing this duty.
  • You may have moved to a different state or country and find difficulty in executing this duty.
  • You may have intense conflicts with a certain beneficiary that may interfere with your executing this duty.
  • You may have been convicted of a felony and no longer qualify to execute this duty.
  • You may, sadly, predecease the testator who appointed you to this duty.

In a best-case scenario, the testator may have disclosed an alternative executor in their will. If not, you may consult with the testator and plead that they revisit their will and make the necessary modifications.

But if the testator is, sadly, passed on when you come to this realization, such modifications may no longer be possible. Instead, you may have to file a formal, written petition with the Florida probate court to renunciate your role.

If you cannot handle this responsibility, you cannot simply try to “stick it out,” so to speak. This is because, if you cannot put in your best effort, the testator’s beneficiaries may accuse you of breaching your fiduciary duty. With this, they may file a formal, written petition with the Florida probate court to remove you from your role.

This may subsequently strain your established relationships with them. All in all, you simply do not want it to get to this point of contention.

In a way, the best thing you can do to help yourself is to let a competent Broward County estate lawyer help you. So please, whenever you are ready, reach out to us at The Probate Lawyers.