When you create a will at The Millman Law Group, you also name a personal representative. This role is called the “executor” in other states, but the responsibilities remain the same. Many people select their spouse or a child to be their personal representative, but this role should not be assigned lightly. The responsibilities of personal representatives in Florida are intensive, and the role demands a significant amount of time and commitment. Before you name your personal representative, make sure that your chosen individual fits the following legal requirements and can meet these various responsibilities.
Legal Requirements for Personal Representatives in Florida
The first step in selecting your personal representative is making sure that they meet the legal requirements for the role. In Florida, a person is qualified to represent your estate if they are:
- 18 years or older
- Not a convicted felon
- Mentally and physically capable of performing their duties
- A resident of Florida
However, you may select a non-resident to serve as a personal representative if you are related to that person by blood, marriage, or adoption.
The Responsibilities of Personal Representatives
Your chosen representative is entrusted to handle all legal and financial matters required to open and close a deceased person’s estate. This role includes many duties and responsibilities, including:
- Identify and notify creditors
- Notify all interested parties, including beneficiaries
- Identify all assets of the estate
- Determine the value of all assets, conducting appraisals if necessary
- File an inventory with the court
- Make payments on creditor claims
- File estate tax returns if necessary
- File income tax returns for the deceased
- Distribute assets to the beneficiaries as directed by the will
- Sell assets when necessary
- Close out the estate
Even the most capable people likely do not have experience with many of these legal and financial responsibilities. Because of that, the job of a personal representative requires the help of trusted legal professionals.
Why Work With an Estate Planning Lawyer?
In Florida, a lawyer is required in order to appoint a personal representative of an estate. At The Millman Law Group, your lawyer will help the chosen personal representative navigate the process to ensure that all legal requirements are effectively met. Your lawyer assists in many responsibilities, including:
- Ensuring that all court reports are filed correctly and on time
- Determining which tax returns are necessary
- Informing the representative of all legal requirements and deadlines
- Helping to determine the value of assets or suggesting experts to help with valuations
- Making court appearances when necessary
- Identify which creditor claims must be paid
- Ensuring that all assets are distributed according to the wishes of the deceased
- Ensuring that the estate is closed out
- Providing any legal guidance as issues arise
Your chosen personal representative must be able to handle the role’s responsibilities. However, you should also work with a trusted attorney to ensure that your lawyer guides your representative accurately and efficiently.
Estate Planning Made Easy With Millman Law Group
Millman Law Group, PLLC is rare because it’s one of the only law firms that offer life planning in South Florida. From life care planning to the preparation of detailed estate plans, Millman Law Group has committed to serving Floridian elderly communities in Boca Raton, Palm Beach County, Ocean Ridge, Hillsboro Beach, and many other areas since 2018. Our dedicated team also specializes in special needs trusts and catering to any age demographic because we know for certain it’s never too early to start preparing you and your family for your future. For the latest news in estate planning and elder care law, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, and Pinterest. You can also contact us at 561-463-6480.