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Can you select an out-of-state executor for a Florida estate?

On Behalf of | Jun 14, 2023 | Estate Planning |

Choosing an executor for an estate is a crucial part of estate planning. The executor will oversee the probate process, distribute assets and settle the estate’s debts. Therefore, it is essential to choose a trustworthy individual for this role.

A common question among Florida residents is whether they can select someone living in another state to serve as the executor of their estate. Here is what you need to know about this possibility.

Florida’s laws on out-of-state executors

Florida law does permit residents to select an out-of-state executor for their estate. However, the selected individual must be a close familial relation to you, whether by blood (including parents, children or siblings), adoption or marriage.

Considerations when selecting a non-resident executor

There are a few things to consider when selecting an out-of-state executor. One is the potential difficulty of handling estate matters from afar. Tasks such as property maintenance, meeting with potential buyers and making court appearances can be more challenging when the executor does not live nearby.

Additionally, an out-of-state executor might need to travel to Florida regularly to fulfill their duties. This can add to the time and expense of administering the estate.

Finally, some non-resident executors may need to post a bond, an insurance policy that protects the estate from losses caused by the executor’s errors. This is another added cost that you could avoid by choosing a Florida-based executor.

Alternatives to an out-of-state executor

One option if you plan on an out-of-state executor is to appoint a Florida-based co-executor. The co-executor can handle local tasks, making the process smoother and more efficient. Another alternative is to appoint a professional fiduciary or a corporate executor, such as a trust company, although these usually charge a fee for their services.

While Florida law allows residents to select a non-resident executor, there are specific restrictions and challenges. Understanding these considerations can help individuals make informed decisions about their estate planning.