If you make out your last will and testament in your own handwriting, will a Florida court accept it?
Estate administration begins with appointing the right personal representative. Remember this when you consider your Last Will and Testament. Along with creating a valid estate plan, naming a trusted personal representative is critical to ensuring your wishes are followed when you pass away because you will not be around to speak for yourself.
Do heirs and beneficiaries have rights if there is no valid Will when someone passes away while residing in Florida? When a resident of Florida dies, assets are disbursed according to Florida law. Estate administration is generally filed in the county where the person resided at the time of death. By signing a valid Will, the process of transferring assets to intended beneficiaries goes very smoothly. An estate planning attorney may also offer to store your Will for safekeeping in a fire-proof vault in his/her office for added peace of mind.
Estate administration and tax implications from recent tax reforms are extremely important matters. Now that the end-of-year holidays are behind us tax season is in full swing. As you may know, 2018 is the first year in which the full effects of recent tax reforms apply. This has some experts predicting that issues related to tax returns and tax refunds will be complicated this year.
Florida is a very popular place, attracting visitors from all over the U.S. and the world. Many of those visitors purchase real estate in one form or another, allowing them to take advantage of the temperate climate in Florida when the weather at home is too harsh to tolerate.
An important step for a person in Florida who is creating an estate plan is to appoint the right executor. Some people may think of an executor largely as a ceremonial position, analogous to appointing a child's godparents. However, an executor is actually a position that comes with a significant amount of responsibility and requires that someone possess certain skills to be effective.
Florida residents who have been named as executor under a will may wonder what their duties are when the testator dies. As fiduciaries for the beneficiaries and the testator's estate, they must locate, value and secure all assets. This process will vary. Some assets may be accessed on producing a death certificate and a formal authorization from the court. A claim might be required to get insurance assets.
A Florida resident who has been named as the executor of someone's last will and testament has a lot of responsibilities to fulfill. The executor must ensure that the testator's creditors are all paid off and the remaining property in the estate is correctly distributed to the beneficiaries. While they are not required to have any legal or financial training before beginning their job, they are legally required to execute the estate properly.
When Florida residents are appointed the executor under a will, this does not mean that they can do anything they want with the testator's assets. In fact, they a number of duties that they are required by law to perform.
In a recent post, we began discussing how even though being named the personal representative -- or executor -- of a family member or friend's estate may initially seem like a great honor, the novelty can rapidly wear off as the weeks, months and even years pass.