Who Can Be Executor of an Estate?

Learn who can be appointed as an executor for an estate and what are their responsibilities from our expert advice.

Who Can Be Executor of an Estate?

In most cases, New York law requires that your executor be a U. S. citizen. A judge will not appoint an executor who is not a U.

citizen and lives out of state, unless you also appoint a co-executor who is a resident of New York and the judge approves it. If you don't have any responsible friends or family members, you can appoint an attorney, accountant, bank, or trust company as executor. However, these parties generally charge additional fees for their own services or demand higher payments than a friend or family member. If you don't have surviving family members or friends, you can hire a bank, trust company, CPA, corporate trustee, or probate law firm.

An executor of an estate is a person appointed to administer the last will of a deceased person. The principal duty of the executor is to carry out the instructions to manage the affairs and wishes of the deceased. The executor is appointed by the testator of the will (the person making the will) or by a court, in cases where there has been no prior appointment. Each state imposes its own rules on who can act as executor (personal representative) of an estate that is legalized in state courts. Therefore, even someone who is willing to take on the job of closing an estate might not qualify under state law.

If the surviving spouse does not name someone, or if there is no living spouse, then the court moves to the children, then to the parents and remains on the list. By the way, the courts do not automatically appoint the elder brother as administrator. All children of a deceased person are on an equal footing. Many people choose their spouse or civil partner, or children, to be executors. At least one of your executors must be over 18 years of age at the time of applying for legalization, which is a legal document that gives you the right to resolve the affairs of someone who has died.

In the words of Jim Morrison, the future is uncertain and the end is always near, so agreeing to be an executor means that your legal liability can be invoked at any time. And know how you can address some of these potential dangers so that being an executor can run smoothly. A person under 18 may be named executor in a will, but he will not have the right to request succession until he or she turns 18. Co-executor logistics means that each executor must sign all documents and must be involved in all decisions related to estate. If the young person (under 1 year old) is also a beneficiary or has life interest in any of the assets under the will, then two executors are required. For this reason, make sure you fully understand the responsibilities of becoming an executor of an estate before committing to it. One of the biggest drawbacks of being an executor is the large amount of time it takes to properly manage responsibilities. Before you decide to take on the various tasks involved in becoming an executor of another person's estate, you may want to know what exactly an executor does first.

While you only need to name one executor for your will to be valid, you should try to name at least one younger and healthier successor executor who is likely to outlive you in case you only write one will during your lifetime and your first choice of executor dies before you, or you choose not to. Review the requirements of your state's probate law or ask your estate planning attorney before choosing an executor. This type of bond secures the value of the testator's inheritance against any error that the executor may make in the performance of his duties, including not obeying his responsibilities in any way. Family members don't always charge for their services as executors of an estate, but you will pay a fee to hire a professional for this service.

Kathy Broadbent
Kathy Broadbent

Award-winning pop culture guru. Avid bacon maven. Unapologetic internet evangelist. Total internet geek. Devoted food buff.

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