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FAQs About Estate Administration
Who Can Act as a Personal Representative or Will Executor in Florida?
In general, anyone can serve as a Will executor in Florida if they:
- Are 18 or older
- Are physically and mentally capable of undertaking an executor’s duties
- Don’t have any prior felony convictions
A bank or another financial institution can also act as a Will executor, provided it is authorized to act as a fiduciary in Florida. Non-residents may serve as executors if they’re related to the decedent by marriage, blood, or adoption.
An estate administration attorney can ensure that your chosen representative may serve as your will executor in Florida.
How Long Does Estate Administration Take?
A typical Florida estate takes between 6 and 9 months to close, including probate and asset distribution. However, estate administration may take longer if the estate is especially large or complex or if it includes property in other states. For example, if the decedent owned real estate outside Florida, those assets may need to go through probate in the state where they are registered.
Inheritance disputes or conflicts over estate administration can also prolong estate closure. Our estate administration law firm can help Will executors and beneficiaries overcome hurdles while closing an estate.
What Happens if a Personal Representative Violates Their Duties?
Acting as a Will executor involves many complex duties, like inventorying and valuing assets, discharging tax liabilities, and managing the estate during closure. An executor who is not a legal or tax professional may accidentally mismanage the estate even if acting in good faith, which could lead to various legal repercussions. Beneficiaries may ask the court to appoint a different representative or file a lawsuit against the Will executor.
If you’re a Will executor, consulting an estate administration attorney can help you avoid estate closure mistakes, conflict with beneficiaries, and potential legal liability.
Does a Will Executor Need to Work with an Estate Administration Lawyer?
Although a Will executor may complete their obligations without a lawyer, experienced estate administration attorneys can provide invaluable help in wrapping up an estate. If you’re acting as a Will executor in Florida, you may benefit from working with an estate administration attorney when:
- The estate is large, complex, or highly encumbered
- You need to sell some of the estate’s assets to discharge debt claims or other liabilities
- The beneficiaries dispute the will or accuse you of breaching your duty