ESTATE PLANNING TOPICS: CHOOSING YOUR EXECUTOR WITH CARE

As Florida residents work through the details of their estate plan, they may wonder how to appoint an executor. That person, after all, will be largely responsible for making sure that your assets and personal holdings are distributed according to your wishes. Although you may think that the title of executor is a compliment, many people may not view it as such, perhaps because the executor’s role is so complicated and demanding. Before you name an executor in your estate planning documents, be sure that you have considered the implications that this choice could have for the person you designate.

Executors are not always the most popular people among decedents’ family members. When relatives begin to clamor for rapid distribution of property, this position suddenly begins to seem far less attractive and far more inconvenient than ever! Executors throughout the nation tell horror stories about being left with halfhearted estate plans that lead to family discord and conflict. Many executors find themselves balancing their loyalty to their friend or relative with the demands of their everyday lives; do you really want to saddle a mother of two young children with this massive responsibility? Resolving a poorly planned estate can take years, depending on the nature of the discrepancies. It’s no wonder that for many people, serving as an executor feels more like a punishment than a privilege.

For this reason, experts in the field recommend that estate planners and their clients provide clear, accurate information about the role of an executor. Those who have negative experiences often wish that the decedent’s attorney had simply sat down with them to explain the level of responsibility required to execute the estate plan. Estate planning gurus advise having a thorough conversation in a comfortable setting that will allow your candidate to fully understand the implications of the role.

Floridians who want to know more about naming an executor may benefit from contacting a qualified probate attorney. These professionals can help you get your estate in order, providing you and your executor with the critical information you will both need during the planning and execution processes.

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Written by Luis E. Barreto

Luis E. Barreto

Luis is a probate and guardianship litigator with over 23 years of experience in the field. Determination of heirs, will contests, breaches of fiduciary duty, removal of personal representatives, guardians and trustees are just some of the types of litigation he addresses. In addition, he administers non-contested estates and guardianships.