A Florida resident who is named as the executor of a decedent's will may be apprehensive about the responsibilities that accompany that position. The executor needs to make sure the desires of the deceased person are fulfilled and the remaining financial obligations of the person's estate are taken care of.
Florida residents may be interested to learn that on March 30, a probate judge ordered attorneys to take eight weeks to sort out issues related to money and property awarded to his widow and three adult children. Attorneys for Williams' third wife say that the negotiations are amicable and that what she is asking for is a fraction of the overall estate.
When an estate enters probate, the court will appoint a personal representative to manage the assets. If the representative is an individual, that person must either be a Florida resident or a close relative of the decedent. A qualified and authorized bank or savings and loan company and any incorporated Florida trust company could also serve as the representative.
Among the primary reasons for probate in Florida is the satisfaction of the debts of the decedent. The personal representative of the estate is required to provide notice of probate to any reasonably ascertainable or known creditors. Upon notice, creditors typically are allowed a period of three months to file claims with the court clerk. The claims should set forth the details of the relevant debts.
When individuals are deciding who will inherit from their estates, it is important to consider a series of questions. The first question to answer is how much should go to heirs and how much should go to charity. Once that ratio has been determined, it may be worthwhile to talk to all beneficiaries to let them know how much they can expect to receive.
Most Florida residents are aware that a drafting a will is a prudent step to take. A will can help to reduce tax exposure and ensure that heirs receive as much of an estate as possible. However, many people do not realize that retirement accounts, such as IRAs and 401K plans, may not be covered by a will. The law in the area will give the beneficiary clauses of retirement accounts precedence over the terms of a will. This means that keeping the beneficiaries on these accounts up to date is an important part of estate planning.
Florida residents who own special collections may be interested in including them in their estate plans. Leaving a collection to one or more heirs may be included in a last will and testament. However, there may be benefits in giving away beloved items while an individual is still living. Determining personal goals for a particular collection may help.
Many Florida residents who have accumulated wealth hope to pass their fortunes down to their children and grandchildren. They are often concerned, though, that the money will be used wisely. One way for a person to ensure that their money they worked so hard for is spent appropriately is to set up a trust, allowing the grantor to set up specific instruction for how the assets will be disbursed to heirs.