Responsibilities of the Executor of a Will in Florida

By Christine Bryant
The executor of a will in the state of Florida distributes the assets detailed in a will.
bilancia image by Satan from Fotolia.com

In the state of Florida, an executor of a will has the responsibility of distributing the assets of someone who has died. The executor is usually someone chosen by the decedent prior to dying, although the court may name an executor. While the executor does have some decision making power when it comes to the estate of the decedent, the executor is bound by the will and any decisions made must be in the best interest of the estate.

Initial Responsibilities

Although an executor of a will has several responsibilities that can take several weeks or months to execute, some of the first responsibilities involve setting up the proper paper work to ensure the rest of the process runs smoothly. Some of these responsibilities include filing the will with the court system, requesting a certified copy of the decedent's death certificate and assembling the estate's assets, which includes everything from personal banking accounts to real estate deeds and property titles.

Protecting Estate Property

One of the main responsibilities of an executor is to protect the estate's property. This includes having the power to make any investments that would enhance the value of the property or selling any assets that would decrease the estate's value. Hiring the correct professionals to help with these responsibilities is also another role of the executor.

Settle Accounts

In Florida, the executor of a will must also settle any accounts regarding the estate. This includes collecting any money that is due to the decedent, as well as paying off any debts the decedent owes. The executor also should file any claims for benefits from insurance policies and Social Security. When tax returns are required, executors will file income tax returns and estate tax returns.

Communication

Most wills have beneficiaries, so one of the roles of an executor is to communicate with the decedent's beneficiaries on what actions are being taken. As the process evolves, the executor will be responsible for closing out the estate and distributing any remaining assets to the beneficiaries.