Executor Of An Estate
Appointing An Executor Of An Estate
Have you been shuffling this issue under the rug and not dealing with it?
The truth is, you don’t have to deal with it, if you don’t want to. You can leave it for the probate litigators to handle.
Before making them each a beneficiary of one family trust, or of a so-called Marital Trust…before you name them all in the will or in your revocable trust, please consider my advice. Also – please! – when you appoint the person who will administer your estate, or who will be trustee of your family trust – you may just want to appoint an executor or a trustee. Someone who is not a family member, but who can be an objective voice. A tie-breaker. Perhaps you should consider an accountant, a trust company, or an estate attorney to handle this task for you.
I can tell you here – a major portion of our probate litigation practice consists of dealing with inheritance rights and claims of second or third spouses, minor children, and adult children from a prior relationship. Also creditors’ rights of spouses and ex-spouses.
Most states have some type of guaranteed inheritance for a surviving spouse or widow – regardless of how long you’ve been married. Sometimes, the spouse can “elect against” the will, or whatever you left him or her under your revocable trust. In Florida, a spouse is guaranteed a 30% cut of your estate (called the elective share). These guaranteed inheritance rights for a spouse may or may not be waived under a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.
In our Palm Beach probate litigation practice, we are sometimes advocating for a current spouse who signed a prenuptial agreement, or a former spouse who was divorced, but who was promised property or money under a marital settlement agreement from the divorce.
There are often adult kids from a first marriage who view the spouse or former spouse as an enemy of the estate – someone who is trying to take from, or to diminish, their inheritance.