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Being an executor is so much responsibility: What are my options?

Let's say your father named you as the executor of his estate. Initially, you felt honored, but you've been looking over the estate paperwork, and now you're terrified. This is a lot of work. Your father's estate is complicated, he has a lot of assets to organize, and you don't understand the law very well.

You have two burning questions on your mind: (1) Can you refuse to serve as executor, and (2) if you do agree to administer the estate, will you get paid?

Can people named as executors refuse the responsibility?

You have to go to work nine hours a day, take your kids to school, cook the kids dinner, help with their homework, make sure they go to bed, and the list of your responsibilities goes on. Although you'd love to serve as executor, you simply don't have time for the responsibility.

You can decline to accept the role as executor. Also, if you do accept it you can step down from the position at any time. In most Florida estate plans, the estate planner has named secondary and tertiary executors who will take over in the event that the other person cannot fulfill his or her duties.

Will I get paid as an executor?

In the vast majority of cases, executors don't get paid. That's because they're performing the service as a favor to their deceased loved one and their families. However, executors do have the right to receive payment for their services from the estate. If the duties are overwhelming and cut into your ability to make a living -- and if the estate can absorb the costs -- you might consider asking the court to decide what your reasonable compensation will be.

You don't have to do this alone

Instead of rejecting your duties and powers as executor, you can hand over the bulk of your responsibilities to a Florida probate and estate administration lawyer. A lawyer will make sure that you administer the estate appropriately, cost effectively and bring probate and all other matters to a swift conclusion.

Source: Nov. 30, -0001

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