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The executor’s role in probate court

| Jan 21, 2021 | Estate Administration |

When a person names an executor, it is with the intent that the executor will fulfill the duties prescribed under Florida law. An executor is usually a personal acquaintance or relative of the deceased. 

What does an executor do? An executor is responsible for many elements of the probate process. Explore some of the tasks this estate figurehead must do before fulfilling the duties assigned. 

Appearing in court

The executor of a will must represent the deceased and his or her estate in court. The executor must have access to and gather all necessary financial documents that the court requires. At every step of the probate process, the executor is free to conduct investigations into the deceased’s holdings and debts. Throughout this critical process, the executor appears in front of the probate judge and provides documentation of his or her efforts in gathering this information. 

Disbursing payments

One element of the estate the executor must gather is ac accounting of the deceased’s debts. Creditors must stake a claim and provided evidence that the deceased owed them money. If there is money left after the executor pays qualifying debts, then the heirs named in the will get it. However, if there are no heirs named, the executor must wait until the court finds them through intestacy proceedings. This allows any person believing they have a claim on the estate to go before the court for consideration. 

Choosing the executor for an estate is crucial. The role is not a good fit for everyone. When picking an executor, considering the responsibilities required should narrow down the contenders.