One purpose of estate planning is to avoid probate, but sometimes probate is unavoidable. It may take some time until the executor is legally able to distribute assets. How will the executor go about managing assets during probate?
An estate executor, also known as a personal representative, is charged with settling and distributing an estate according to the decedent’s Will and Florida law. A court may appoint a personal representative if one is not named in a Will or if the testator did not leave a valid Will.
The executor’s duties may include:
The executor is responsible for safeguarding the estate’s property. An estate may contain any or all of the following assets:
Obviously, some assets will require more attention from the personal representative than others. Assets that might deteriorate or lose value in some way need to be managed more closely.
For example, if the decedent owned a home, the executor will try to ensure the home is not damaged or neglected before the estate is closed. It may be more difficult, but equally more important, to properly operate a company left behind by the decedent. Without leadership, the company could lose some of its value.
During probate, an executor may be required to prepare reports for the court. Information required may include assets and liabilities of the estate. If the estate is large and the probate process lengthy, an executor may report periodically on how assets are being managed. Everything the executor does should be done in the best interests of the estate and interested parties.
Whether you are preparing an estate plan or serving as an executor, you’ll need legal advice. Attorney John Mangan has the skills and experience to develop appropriate strategies for your individual situation. Please contact us at 772-324-9050 for more information or complete our Contact Form.