Legal Blog

September 3, 2019

The Fiduciary Duty of an Executor During Probate

The executor of a will, also known as the personal representative, has certain responsibilities during the probate process. The individual drafting a will is the person who names the executor. The executor’s most important duty is to ensure that a decedent’s will is administered properly and that assets are distributed in accordance with the will’s terms. The executor of the will also owes the decedent’s estate a fiduciary duty. Specifically, the will executor has a duty to act in the estate’s best interests at all times – especially when it comes to distributing the estate’s assets in accordance with the decedent’s wishes.

The experienced attorneys at The Legacy Law Firm understand the complications associated with probate administration and can assist you throughout every step of the process. Please call us today at (954) 999-9683 or submit a request online to learn more about how we could help you throughout the entire process.

Specific Duties of an Executor

An executor owes an estate numerous fiduciary duties. Some of those duties include the following:

●           Preserving the value of the estate – The executor of a decedent’s estate owes a duty to make sure that the value of the estate does not go down while the assets are still waiting to be distributed. For example, an executor could invest certain assets of the estate or sell off estate assets that are likely to go down in value. The executor could also hire an accountant and/or a lawyer to assist with these tasks.

●           Inventorying assets – The executor also owes a duty to collect and inventory all of the assets that form the decedent’s estate. Those assets could include investments, bank accounts, and real property. Specifically, the executor must make a list of all of these assets in the estate, determine the value of each individual asset when the decedent passed away, and compile the estate’s net worth. The executor can then pay off debts, pay taxes, and distribute the remaining assets according to the terms of the decedent’s will.

●           Paying off taxes and debts – An estate can incur tax liabilities and other debts. The executor of the estate is responsible for notifying known creditors, ensuring that all required debts are satisfied and that all local, state, and federal taxes on estate assets are paid off in a timely manner.

●           Distributing the estate’s assets – Once all liabilities, including tax liabilities, have been fully satisfied, the executor is then left to distribute the remainder in accordance with the decedent’s intentions, as represented in his or her will.

Speak with our Probate and Estate Planning Attorneys, located in Coral Springs and Delray Beach, Florida Today

The Legacy Law Firm prides itself on assisting individuals and families with every aspect of estate planning and probate administration. To schedule a free consultation or case evaluation with our Florida probate and estate planning lawyers, please give us a call at (954) 999-9683 or contact us online today to learn more about how we could help you or your loved one plan your estate.


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