Just as in seemingly every aspect of life, a “Plan B” is essential when it comes to estate planning.
Appointing a personal representative to oversee your estate in the event you pass away is crucial to ensuring that your wishes are carried out in accordance with your will or other estate planning documents.
However, if when you pass away the person you appointed can no longer serve or is unwilling to assume the responsibilities of a personal representative, that person can decline the appointment.
If you have not named an alternate personal representative to take on these responsibilities, the court will appoint someone else. It could be a person you would not necessarily have chosen.
Choosing an alternate
Some individuals may have an extensive list of people they would choose from to be nominated as an alternate personal representative. Siblings, children, close family friends-all could be trusted to ensure their wishes are carried out.
However, others may not necessarily have this option. Perhaps they do not have a close blood relative they could trust. Or, someone outside of family members that they do trust is not a Florida resident as required under the law. Fortunately, those without a significant trust network of family and friends could choose a Florida bank, trust company, or other trusted fiduciary to serve as an alternate personal representative.
Regardless of the situation, there are options. Taking proactive measures ahead of time by choosing a personal representative and also an alternative representative can assure that your specific wishes regarding personal and monetary matters are handled as you wish.