When an estate goes through formal probate administration in Florida, the court must appoint an executor (also referred to as “personal representative”) to handle the decedent’s affairs. Is it better to have one or two executors in Florida probate? Read on to find out.
Appointing a Co-Executor to a Will in Florida – The Basics
Florida law allows you to appoint two or more individuals to serve as executors during probate. This decision is expressed through the will, which must contain language naming two individuals for the role.
During probate, both executors must work together to fulfill their statutory duties:
- Identifying, gathering, and inventorying the deceased’s assets
- Providing notice to all parties with an interest in the estate
- Notifying creditors
- Paying any valid creditors’ claims
- Objecting to invalid claims against the estate
- Filing tax returns on behalf of the estate
- Representing the estate in litigations (if necessary)
- Distributing the remaining assets to the heirs following the will’s instructions
The executors must uphold a fiduciary duty, acting only in the best interest of the estate and its beneficiaries. Each co-executor is responsible for ensuring that the other co-executors fulfill their duties.
Is it Better to Have One or Two Executors in Florida? – An Honest Overview
In most cases, appointing multiple executors to the same estate may result in disputes between the parties involved. If an estate is not wealthy and does not involve complex assets, appointing a co-executor may not be the wisest decision.
However, there may be unique reasons to appoint a co-executor to administer your estate upon death.
An estate administration involving particularly complex assets may require the appointment of multiple executors with complementary roles. This way, each one must have strengths applied to a specific aspect of the process.
For instance, one of the co-executors may have extensive experience in dealing with stocks, cryptocurrencies, and other intangible assets, while the other co-executor may be a specialist in real estate management.
Business Interests vs. Probate
If the person writing the will owns a company or multiple business interests, appointing a co-executor who specializes in business is a good idea. In such cases, it is possible to name an immediate relative (e.g., spouse) and a trusted business administrator as co-executors.
Appointing a co-executor to administer an estate may provide a guarantee if the person writing the will is not convinced that he or she can fully trust a single executor. In such cases, a co-executor can keep an eye on the other and protect the estate against risky decisions.
Even though this decision may be a valid option in certain cases, appointing co-executors who do not trust each other can result in potential disputes. If you need legal guidance to select an adequate executor to your will, consult with an expert Florida attorney.
Avoiding Family Conflicts
Every family is different. While some relatives get along well, other families are affected by everlasting conflicts.
Choosing a close relative to serve as your personal representative may result in jealousy and feelings of favoritism among family members.
In specific situations, appointing multiple family members is a good way to avoid potential conflicts and prevent an unpleasant mood during probate. Consult with an expert attorney to identify the best solution for your circumstances.