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Essentially, an executor is an individual who may take your assets upon your unfortunate passing, so as to eventually administer them to your designated beneficiaries in the exact manner you instructed in your will. As you may already realize from just this brief description, taking on this role comes with serious responsibilities. Therefore, selecting the right executor of your estate is of the utmost importance. Follow along to find out who can take on the role of executor and how a proficient Broward County wills lawyer at The Probate Lawyers can help you appoint one before it is too late.

How do I know who can take on the role of executor of my estate?

Florida statutes simply require that an executor of an estate be 18 years of age or older. In addition, an executor must be deemed physically and mentally capable of serving.

The rest may be up to your personal preference. You may feel most comfortable with nominating a family member who is also a beneficiary of your estate (i.e., your spouse or child). However, this should not be your only selection criteria. Rather, to determine whether an individual can effectively take on the role of executor of your estate, is in your best interest to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is this individual of a significantly younger age than you (i.e., is this individual likely to outlive you, etc.)?
  • Is this individual free of a troubled financial history (i.e., are they free of any past bankruptcy filings, etc.)?
  • Is this individual used to handling financial matters for their household (i.e., are they the one to file federal tax returns, etc.)?
  • Is this individual patient, understanding, and fair (i.e., are they able to handle potentially contested issues from your beneficiaries, etc.)?

What might happen if I do not appoint an executor?

You may be unable to deal with the pressure and stress of appointing an executor yourself. You may also feel uncomfortable with creating such an imposition for your loved one. However, ignoring this step in the estate planning process may just create problems for your beneficiaries down the line.

The reason this may be true is that the Florida probate court may then appoint an executor on your behalf. This appointment may be per Florida’s intestate laws.¬†Ultimately, this individual may be someone whom you do not trust (i.e., an estranged relative). In turn, this individual may not distribute your estate in the way you would have desired.

Of note, the same set of circumstances may play out if your appointed executor is ultimately unwilling to take on this role. This is why you must have an open and honest conversation about this role with your desired executor when you still have the chance.

So even if you are just considering preparing a will, you must consult with a talented Broward County estate lawyer from The Probate Lawyers. Contact our firm today.