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Executors Need to Have the Time to Properly Complete Probate

Law Office of Mary Alice Gwynn, PA June 4, 2019

Before taking on an important position, most people will determine whether they are well suited for the role. For some reason, this does not always take place when a person is asked to become the executor of an estate. In many cases, Florida residents will agree to take on this role without fully knowing what it entails. Before taking that route, individuals may want to consider their abilities and willingness to go through the probate process.

Because probate can take a long time and executors will essentially have another job on top of their regular life responsibilities, it is important to determine whether they will actually have the time to properly complete the process. The executor will need to have the decedent's will validated, gather and protect assets, pay outstanding debts, and distribute assets once the legal proceedings are over. While these tasks may seem simple, they can quickly become complicated.

Completing probate can become even more complex if a beneficiary or other party brings a claim against the estate. The executor has the obligation of representing the estate in such matters, which means more time and effort having to go into the process. If the person does not have the time to handle each part of the typical legal proceeding and possible conflict over the estate, he or she may want to reconsider taking on this role.

Of course, even though probate can be complicated, executors do not have to complete the process alone. Florida residents who believe they have the time necessary to settle their loved ones' final affair will likely find it useful to have professional legal assistance. Knowledgeable attorneys can help them understand how to effectively handle each aspect of closing an estate.