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The Need To Be Appointed Before Acting After Someone’s Death

James W. Martin

It’s happened more than once. A Florida resident dies. A family member finds the will, sees his or her name as personal representative (executor), and starts giving away furniture, cleaning out the house, etc. Unfortunately, doing these things might create personal liability. That’s because the person named in a Florida will as personal representative generally has no right to start acting until the probate court appoints him or her to the office of personal representative.

The same thing applies when the person is named successor trustee of a trust, except instead of a court appointment the person generally accepts the position of trustee by a written acceptance.

In either case, it’s best to have a Florida lawyer prepare the legal documents for appointment and acceptance.

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