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What is the role of a Florida estate executor?

On Behalf of | Jun 28, 2023 | Estate Administration

When a Florida resident executes a last will and testament, the estate owner typically chooses someone to manage the estate administration process when the time comes, which includes making sure that the provisions included in the will are carried out. The testator can designate anyone who is age 18 or over and has not had any felony convictions. It is, of course, always best to discuss one’s intentions with the person in mind, so that he or she can agree or decline the designation.  

Serving as an executor of a Florida estate is no light task. If the estate is complex, fulfilling one’s executor duties can be quite stressful. This is especially true in situations where someone is contesting the will. Before agreeing to serve as executor, it is important to learn more about the responsibilities associated with the role.  

Basic duties of a Florida estate executor 

One of the first responsibilities a Florida estate executor must carry out is to obtain the death certificate of the estate owner who has passed. It is helpful to request more than 10 copies because an executor must provide a copy to carry out multiple tasks, such as closing the decedent’s bank accounts. There are several other tasks that also fall to an executor:  

  • Gather the decedent’s assets 
  • Notify heirs and beneficiaries 
  • File a copy of the will in probate court 
  • Pay debts or taxes associated with the estate 
  • Represent the estate in court 

A Florida estate executor has many more responsibilities. It makes sense to clarify the required duties before agreeing to serve.  

Does an executor have to be a family member? 

It is common for a Florida estate executor to be a surviving spouse or adult child of the decedent. But it does not have to be a family member. Many people ask a trusted friend or an attorney to serve as executor. An estate attorney can further explain the process and can provide legal support throughout the probate process.