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Appointing an executor of one's estate

When many Florida residents decide to write a will, they agonize over such questions as who to appoint as guardian for children, or which niece gets the antique furniture. Still, many of them don't spend a lot of time thinking about an important question -- who should serve as executor of the estate? Failing to think about this carefully can lead to problems down the road.

When executing a will, Florida residents must designate an executor to go over the financial records, pay taxes, pay off debts, distribute assets and attend to the other tasks of estate administration. Serving as executor is often a time-consuming and thankless job, and some people may not want to put their loved ones through it. If one neglects to appoint an executor, the court will appoint someone.

Still, it's important to appoint a trusted person as executor. A spouse, a close friend or a close relative may be trustworthy and will not mind doing one last favor for the deceased. One should also appoint alternatives, in case one's designated executor is unable to perform the duties. One can also appoint more than one executor, if necessary.

Another thing to remember is to provide detailed instructions on the distribution personal property. Executors often know what to do with bank accounts and other financial assets, but are caught off guard when the beneficiaries fight over items of sentimental value that weren't mentioned in the will.

There are a lot of things to consider when crafting an estate plan. However, with careful consideration Florida residents can ensure their family will be taken care of.

Source: Daily Finance, "Who Should You Ask to be Executor of Your Estate?" Michele Lerner, Oct. 13, 2013

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