When a loved one leaves behind a will as part of a Florida estate plan, that document needs validating by the court. This step is a part of the probate process, which also entails settling the decedent's final affairs. If the will designated an executor, this person has the responsibility of handling the tasks involved in the process, including taking care of the associated fees.
Probate is often necessary, but it can also be a costly process. There are a number of different fees associated with the proceedings, and though the executor must make sure the fees are paid, he or she does not have to pay them out of pocket most of the time. Instead, estate funds are used, which means that the overall value of the estate will be reduced by the number of fees covered.
Some of the fees included in the probate process are court fees and attorney's fees along with a personal representative or executor's fee. Typically, these fees are dictated by state law, but that is not always the case. Additionally, the executor may need to handle fees associated with the cost of having assets appraised or to obtain a business valuation. Understanding these and other applicable fees is an important part of closing an estate.
Probate proceedings can certainly be complicated, and a great deal of responsibility lands in the lap of the executors. Because of the major impacts any mistake could have, it is wise for Florida executors to obtain professional assistance throughout the process. Experienced attorneys can help explain the applicable costs and fees, the steps executors need to take, and the overall obligations of executors.