Who settles the estate ?
The Will should identify a qualified estate administrator.
In Florida, our statutes refer to the estate executor as the Personal Representative.
To be qualified to serve as Personal Representative, the person (age 18 or older & not a convicted felon) must be a Florida resident or a relative -- related to the deceased person.
The personal representative will be responsible for the estate until all bills are paid and the balance of the estate is distributed to the rightful beneficiaries.....until the probate judge discharges the personal representative.

What are the duties and responsibilities involved when settling an estate ?
Along with the honor of being trusted and respected enough to be named as successor trustee or a living trust and / or Probate Personal Representative of a Will, the person (or organization such as the bank’s trust department), named to act under a Trust and Last Will and Testament has various responsibilities.
The successor trustee and Probate Personal Representative has a standard that is described as 'fiduciary' duty, which means that special rules and duties of fairness are applied. The successor trustee and personal representative should be competent to promptly and responsibly follow theses guidelines

1. The Probate Personal Representative or successor trustee of a trust must be very careful not to deal with assets in a way that could be considered as personally benefitting the Personal Representative or trustee.
2. The assets cannot be mixed in with the Personal Representative’s or trustee’s own assets. Separate accounts and investments must be maintained. The Personal Representative’s or trustee’s personal social security number should never be used on the assets being managed for someone else since that could create personal tax liability.
3. Detailed records of income, expenses and all transactions must be kept so that, if your activity was ever questioned, the Personal Representative and trustee could show that the balance of assets control, plus income and additional property, less expenses, equals current assets on hand. Failure to keep proper records could result in personal liability for assets or income which cannot be accounted for or for questionable expenses. Additionally, without detailed records, proper completion of tax returns will be very difficult.

This general information presented is not a substitute for individual legal advice. If you are not sure what to do, please appreciate the importance of a consultation appointment to help decide what documents are appropriate to help you accomplish your goals.