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What are some steps executors in Florida can take?

Being an executor of an estate in Florida can be a little intimidating. After all, there’s a lot of responsibility that’s abruptly thrust upon that person. One moment, they’re living their normal life, and then suddenly they have to make significant decisions about the estate for a family member or friend who has just passed away. Moreover, they will probably have to go to court and take the estate through probate. But what general advice can an executor follow to help them as they perform their duties?

Many estate planning professionals agree that one of the first things an executor should do after they have been appointed to the estate is to obtain the proper number of death certificates for the deceased. That’s necessary because death certificates must be sent to various government and private agencies. Certificates will have to be sent to any insurance company and any financial institution that managed accounts for the testator as well as to the Social Security Administration and the Veteran’s Administration, if the testator was a veteran. Many professionals believe that the executor should get at least twice as many death certificate as they believe they will need in order to be sure they have enough copies.

Another important step is for the executor to find a legal copy of the testator’s last will and testament. This is critical because a copy of the will must be filed with a court in order to start the process of probate. A copy of the will must usually be submitted with the court anywhere between a few days to a month after the testator has passed on.

Another tip for an executor is to be sure to pay off any taxes and bills that the testator may have left behind. However, any Florida resident who has been named executor of someone’s estate may want to speak to an estate planning attorney in order to find out additional helpful steps that they can take.

Source: bankrate.com, “7 tips for the executor of an estate“, Accessed April 30, 2016

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