4 Hazards Of Being An Executor You Need To Know About
In Florida, for someone to be an executor, they must be at least eighteen years old. It is also a requirement for someone not to have been convicted of a felony and to be mentally and physically capable of performing their duties. Additionally, in Florida, one cannot be an executor if they are not a Florida resident unless they are related to the deceased by blood, marriage, or adoption.
If you meet all the requirements for serving as a Florida executor and have just discovered you are named in a loved one’s Will as the executor, you are most likely feeling very honored. However, before you accept your appointment as the executor, you must know about the hazards of serving in this role. Understanding these hazards can help ensure that your job runs smoothly. Also, by understanding these hazards, you can determine if you really can handle being an executor. Remember, just because you are named executor in a loved one’s Will does not mean you must accept the appointment.
Below are some of the hazards of being an executor;
Disagreements With Beneficiaries
The people named as beneficiaries in your loved one’s Will may not understand what you must go through to do your job as the executor. Beneficiaries may disagree with you if they, for example, feel it is taking too long for them to receive their inheritance.
Tip: As the executor, you should ensure you communicate with beneficiaries throughout the administration process. You must remember that you are a fiduciary who must act in the beneficiaries’ best interest.
Disagreements With Co-executors
In Florida, a person can appoint two or more people to serve as executors during probate. However, appointing multiple executors often results in disputes between the parties involved. For example, you and your fellow executor(s) may disagree about the value of assets. You may also disagree about which debts to pay out and which not to pay out.
Serving as an Executor Means You Are Assuming Significant Personal Risk
As the executor, you are personally and financially responsible if you make a mistake. If something goes wrong, it is up to you to make it right using your own money. For instance, suppose you pay beneficiaries first and don’t have enough money in the estate to pay taxes or debts. You are personally liable for the taxes or debts in such a case.
Serving as an Executor Is Time Consuming
As the executor of your loved one’s estate, much of your time will be spent administering the estate. Taking paperwork from one place to another will require your time. Also, calling government officials and meeting with government employees, court clerks, and bank personnel will require your time. However, the good news is that a qualified probate attorney can handle these matters for you.
Note: According to Florida law, executors, also called personal representatives, are required to be represented by an attorney. Unless you are the sole interested person, the law requires that an attorney represents you. However, when hiring a probate attorney, you are not just doing that because it is a legal requirement. You are doing it because of how helpful an attorney can be throughout the probate process.
Contact a Fort Lauderdale Probate Attorney
If you’ve been named as the executor of your loved one’s Will and need legal guidance, contact a qualified Fort Lauderdale probate attorney at Joyce A. Julian, P.A.