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Tips To Help You Be A Successful Executor


An executor is a person in charge of carrying out the terms of a deceased person’s Will. An executor, also known as a personal representative, is responsible for settling a decedent’s estate. This is not an easy job, as various tasks are involved in settling a decedent’s estate. As experienced attorneys., we understand how challenging the job of an executor can be. Below, we share some suggestions on how to be a successful executor.

Tip #1: Obtain Crucial Documents and Make Copies

As an executor, you must file the decedent’s Will with the probate court. Therefore, one of the ways to ensure you are a successful executor is to locate and obtain the decedent’s original Will as soon as possible. You also need to obtain a copy of the death certificate, as this is what you will use to notify banks and other entities of the decedent’s death. The funeral home can give you as many copies of the death certificate as you need.

Tip #2: File the Paperwork as Soon as Possible

Time is of the essence when it comes to being a successful executor. It is crucial that after you locate and obtain the decedent’s Will, you file it with the probate court as soon as possible. Remember, beneficiaries want to receive their inheritance in a timely fashion. By filing the necessary paperwork without delay, you can complete essential tasks in a timely fashion and distribute inheritances to beneficiaries before they start getting impatient.

Tip #3: Communicate Well

To be a successful executor, you need to be able to communicate effectively with various people, such as attorneys, creditors, and accountants, both verbally and in writing. You must also be able to communicate well with beneficiaries who might be emotional.

Tip #4: Seek Professional Help

When handling a decedent’s estate, it is best to seek professional help. For instance, it is best to seek the help of an attorney. In Florida, you are required by law to be represented by an attorney in the probate process. According to Rule 5.030, in Florida, personal representatives must be represented by an attorney unless the personal representative is an attorney or the sole interested person. Other professionals who might prove beneficial include financial advisers and accountants. Do not hesitate to ask for their help.

Tip #5: Be Open and Sympathetic With the Family

Because it is your duty to distribute inheritances to beneficiaries, you will have frequent contact with the decedent’s surviving family members. Be open with the family about how long the probate process might take and keep them updated on how things are going. Keep in mind that it is a hard time for the family. You want to ensure you are sympathetic to the surviving family members.

Tip #6: Take Your Time

For example, avoid falling into the temptation of making distributions to beneficiaries too soon. If you do this and unexpected claims against the estate arise, it might lead to problems. Indeed, you can ask the beneficiaries to return the assets or money. But what if they’ve already spent the money?

Contact a Fort Lauderdale Probate Attorney

If you’ve been named the executor in a Will, our skilled and dedicated Fort Lauderdale probate attorneys at Joyce A. Julian, P.A., are available to offer you the professional help you need. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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