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Tips that can help someone choose the right executor

Picking the right person to act as an executor of an estate is not a simple task. Many times people who seem to be a logical choice, such as a spouse or a son or daughter, may not have the qualities needed to properly take care of a testator's estate. But, there are some guidelines that can help a Florida resident choose the proper executor.

Handling all of the responsibilities of an estate requires specific tasks, such as filing all of the necessary probate paperwork, paying any outstanding estate debts and sending written notifications to local and government agencies, like Social Security and even the post office. So, a testator should choose someone who handles similar kinds of tasks in their own life in a prompt manner. Anyone who shies away from chores like this in their own life may not be a good executor.

If the testator doesn't have a spouse or child who can act as an executor of their estate, they can also consider naming a trusted friend. However, it's very important to choose someone who is younger than the testator and is also in good physical condition. And it's important that the testator seek the approval of that person.

If there are no friends or relatives who can act as an executor, then the testator can consider naming a third party, such as a legal professional or a bank, as the executor. But, naming a third party like this may involve paying an executor fee, which should be clearly agreed upon before finalizing any estate planning documents.

Choosing the right executor for an estate plan can require some careful thought. Any Florida resident who is considering developing a comprehensive estate plan may want to get more information in order to help identify a potential executor.

Source: estate.findlaw.com, "Choosing the executor FAQ", Accessed Aug. 6, 2016

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