Many people spend their whole lives earning income, investing their money, and purchasing property to make sure that they have accumulated enough wealth to take care of themselves and their families. As we get older, many of us start thinking about passing on some or all of our most valuable assets to loved ones after we pass away. A will can be used to divide up your estate after a death.
Before you start listing your assets and beneficiaries, you will need to name an executor for your estate. This executor will have the bulk of the responsibilities when it comes to managing your estate after your death and making sure that your property is distributed in accordance with your wishes.
Named executor should meet legal requirements
Many people select a close friend or relative to serve as their executor, but a corporate executor is also an option if it is more practical to do so. Before you make your choice, you should make sure they meet the following legal criteria to serve as an executor under Florida law:
- At least 18 years old
- Has legal capacity (is mentally and physically able to perform duties)
- Never been convicted of a felony
- Never been convicted of abuse/neglect/exploitation of elderly or disabled adult
In most cases, your executor must be a resident of Florida, but there are exceptions for close relatives who do not live in the state.
Executor you choose should have certain characteristics
As you choose your executor, you should consider who in your life is willing to take on the responsibilities expected of an executor and who is capable of handling these responsibilities.
Choose someone you consider to be trustworthy and organized, and someone you think will honor your wishes. The person does not need to have a full understanding of the probate process, but ideally, the person you choose will be comfortable with many of the tasks that go along with being an executor. The person should be able to review financial documents and should be experienced with interacting with various professionals, including financial advisors and attorneys.
If you need help choosing the right person to administer your estate, consider speaking to a probate and estate administration attorney in your area. Your attorney can advise you on who to choose and make sure your will includes all necessary information.