One reason you may want to consider excluding someone as the executor of your last will and testament is if he or she is also a beneficiary. This will help to avoid appearances of conflict of interest if the other beneficiaries fear that the executor may take advantage of his or her position. On the other hand, the executor is supervised by the court, and an executor who is also a beneficiary is more likely to waive a fee for serving as executor.

State residency requirements also mean it might not be a good choice to make a non-resident your executor. Even though some states do not prohibit non-resident executors, some will require the executor to post a bond, or name a resident as the executor’s representative. Time and travel can also slow up proceedings if your executor is a non-resident. If your state puts limitations on non-resident executors, the court may still appoint the non-resident you named in your last will, provided that he or she serves as co-executor with someone who is a resident of your state. This way, the two co-executors can pool their skills and at the same time, each can keep a check on the other.

Finally, an executor should not be a minor, convicted felon, or non-U.S. citizen.

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Get started Create Your Last Will and Testament Answer a few simple questions. We’ll take care of the rest.