Creating an estate plan is an important duty for everyone, not just for wealthy people or those with young children. Once you are gone, it is time for the estate plan to turn into action.
One of the steps of creating or amending an estate plan is to name a personal representative, also known as an executor. This is an important job, because this person is responsible for distributing the estate according to the decedent’s wishes. The personal representative may also have to deal with creditors and challenges to the will.
If the executor lives in a different state than where the estate is going through probate, it may be difficult to attend court dates in person. And if the personal representative is not careful, he or she could wind up accused of making errors or breaching his or her fiduciary duty.
Those named as personal representative who are concerned about making a mistake are able to turn to a probate attorney for help. Lawyers can guide executors through the process of allocating money and other property according to the terms of the will, if there is one.
If the decedent died without leaving an estate plan, he or she is said to have died “intestate.” Florida law directs how to distribute an intestate estate; a lawyer can help the personal representative in this situation as well.
Besides the grief of losing a loved one, few want to add the stress of mishandling the decedent’s estate, but an experienced lawyer can help prevent this.