Choosing An Executor When Creating A Will In Tampa
A will is one of the most basic yet important estate planning documents. It acts as a guide through probate court proceedings, during which important issues are addressed, such as resolving creditor claims and determining how your property and assets are divided among heirs. When creating a will in Tampa, you will need to select someone to act as your executor, or personal representative. Our Tampa wills attorney explains more about their duties and factors you need to consider in choosing someone for this important role.
Duties of An Executor/Personal Representative
When creating a will in Tampa, you will need to designate someone to act as executor. Commonly referred to as your personal representative, they will locate your will in the event of your passing, file it with the Hillsborough County Probate Court, and act as your representative in legal proceedings required to settle your estate. Various duties include:
- Gathering, preserving, and valuing all property and assets;
- Providing an inventory to the probate court;
- Informing all interested parties of your passing;
- Identifying and locating beneficiaries of the estate;
- Providing notice to all creditors, who may have outstanding claims;
- Settling outstanding debts and collecting any money or property owed to you;
- Selling assets, if needed, in order to settle final accounts;
- Distributing any remaining assets to the people or organizations you select;
- Filing a final tax return, if needed;
- Making any appearances as needed in the probate court to settle and close your estate.
Factors To Consider When Choosing Your Personal Representative
In determining who will act as your executor and represent you in probate court proceedings, many people instinctively select their spouse, adult children, or another family member. While these all appear to be reasonable choices, it is important to recognize they will be grieving at the time and may not be up to handling this important task.
Requirements for personal representatives are listed under the Florida Statutes. They must be at least 18, a resident of Florida ( or a non-resident if related by blood, adoption, or marriage), have no prior felony convictions, and be of sound mind and body. Beyond these basics, there are other qualities you want to look for:
- Trustworthiness in carrying out your final wishes;
- Respectfulness and compassion in dealing with grieving loved ones;
- Experience in successfully handling property, assets, and investments;
- Willingness to devote time to probate court proceedings and tasks required in settling your estate;
- Physical mobility and transportation, particularly if you have any assets located out of state;
- Level-headedness in dealing with any potential problems or disputes that may arise.
Request A Consultation With Our Tampa Wills Attorney To Discuss Your Options
Naming an executor or personal representative for your will is an important task, and there are numerous factors to consider. For trusted legal guidance in making the right choice, reach out to Strategic Counsel Law Group, L.C. Call or contact our Tampa wills attorney online and request a consultation to discuss your options today.