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Who can and cannot serve as the executor of a will?

On Behalf of | Sep 15, 2022 | Estate Planning & Wills

The executor of your will is someone you choose to carry out final tasks on behalf of your estate after you die. You name the executor in your will when you are making other provisions.

However, the court has to approve your choice of executor. According to Kiplinger, there are some qualities that disqualify someone from serving as your executor. Conversely, there are qualities that you might assume would be disqualifications but legally have no bearing on an individual’s ability to serve.

What qualities can disqualify someone from serving as executor?

A person has to be a legal adult to be able to serve as an executor. Therefore, you cannot choose an executor who is under the age of 18. Even if it is legal to choose a younger person as your executor, it may not be in your interest as the individual may not yet have the maturity to serve.

The person you choose to be your executor typically has to be a U.S. citizen or at least a permanent resident of the United States. Otherwise, the court does not have jurisdiction over the individual. The court may not approve your choice of executor if he or she has a criminal record because part of the executor’s responsibility is to write checks.

Who can serve as an executor?

While the person you choose as your executor should live in the United States, he or she does not necessarily have to live close to you. However, it may be more convenient for the executor if he or she does not have to travel to exercise the duties of an executor.

Whether a beneficiary can serve as the executor of your will varies by jurisdiction, but Virginia law permits it.

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