How the death of an executor affects an estate

On Behalf of | Sep 16, 2020 | Probate

Estate planning is important for everyone no matter what their assets look like. Anyone who has children should at least have a last will and testament. This document allows them to appoint a guardian of their choosing. People in Florida should know that an executor is also important when writing a will. The executor is the person charged with seeing that the wishes of the decedent are carried out. Sometimes, however, there’s a complication because the executor died before the person who wrote the will.

About executors

Anyone writing a will can appoint an executor of their choice. However, in some cases, the court may have to intervene. Sometimes, the executor is incapacitated, dead or otherwise unable to carry out their duties. When that happens, the court starts to investigate.

The first thing the court will look for is appointments of co- or alternate executors. If one of these people is available and able to act, the court will simply appoint them. Sometimes, none of the named executors are able to serve in that capacity. In those cases, the court may appoint an individual or law firm that often deals with estates.

Other complications

Sometimes, the executor is able to start the process but then passes away during probate. In this case, the court will appoint a successor executor. If there are co-executors, duties may simply pass to them. If not, the lawyer for the deceased executor will hold everything until it can be passed on to a new executor.

Estate planning can seem daunting, but the best way to prepare and give loved ones peace of mind is to take these issues into account when writing a will. It can definitely be a good idea to include alternate executors in a will. An estate planning attorney may help a client identify potential executors to name.