Some Crucial Things To Consider Before Becoming A Personal Representative
It is an honor to be asked to serve as the personal representative or executor of someone’s Will. If you have just learned that someone who just passed away has appointed you to serve in this capacity, it shows that someone believed in you enough to allow you to carry out their last wishes. But, before you say yes to being the personal representative of someone’s estate, you should know that accepting such a role is a bigger decision than most people realize. You must consider what an executor’s responsibilities are before agreeing to take on the role. Just because someone appointed you to be their personal representative does not mean you should automatically accept the offer.
In this article, get to learn about three crucial things you need to consider before becoming a personal representative. If, after considering the things discussed in this article,, you feel comfortable with taking on the role of a personal representative, it would be best for you to consult a qualified probate attorney before you begin your work. It is important to know that in Florida, personal representatives are required to be represented by an attorney in almost all cases.
Things to Consider Before Becoming a Personal Representative
If you have just learned that someone chose you to be their estate’s personal representative, below are three crucial things to consider before taking on the role.
The Complexity of the Job
In a case where a decedent has left property of modest value, with a few major assets and no estate tax issues to a few beneficiaries, accepting the role of a personal representative may not be such a big deal. Generally, the larger an estate is, in terms of assets, property, the number of beneficiaries, or possessions, the more challenging and time-consuming it will be to disperse. This said, it is important to keep in mind that even a small estate with a few beneficiaries can also be problematic if one individual chooses to contest the Will or is otherwise inclined to sabotage the process. One way to assess the complexity of the job is to look at a decedent’s Will.
Suppose you are a beneficiary in the same Will you are supposed to execute as a personal representative for. In such a case, if you are set to inherit most or all the property, you have a strong motivation to serve as a personal representative. Nevertheless, if you are one of several beneficiaries, you should ask yourself some crucial questions before accepting to become a personal representative. For instance, you should ask yourself;
- If the decedent’s Will names another person to serve as your coexecutor, do you think you can work well together?
- How likely are family members to allow you to carry out your work without second-guessing every decision you make?
The Time Commitment
Before you accept to become a personal representative, you need to be sure that you have the time to do the job, and it is crucial that you make a decision based on your current situation. Fulfilling your duty as an executor can take weeks, months, or even years, depending on the complexity. Furthermore, as discussed earlier, the size of the estate can greatly affect the complexity, and therefore the time commitment to these obligations.
Contact a Fort Lauderdale Probate Attorney
Are you feeling unsure about whether or not to take on the role of a personal representative? Contact a skilled Fort Lauderdale probate & guardianship attorney at Joyce A. Julian, P.A., to receive legal guidance. If you accept to be the personal representative of someone’s estate, our experienced attorneys can help you fulfill your legal duties.