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Are there individuals I should not name as executor?

Naming an executor to your estate is large responsibility for both you and the individual you choose. This person will have to step in when the time comes to ensure that your wishes are fulfilled, while also negotiating a number of complex legal issues that might arise. because of the seriousness of the position, one must not name an executor hastily. While it is generally possible to choose anyone you want as your executor, there are some restrictions.

Some of the obvious exceptions to who can or cannot act as your executor are felons and children under the age of 18. Felons lose this privilege with their sentencing, just like the right to vote, and the courts generally find that children under the age of 18 do not hold these responsibilities well.

You executor must also be of sound mind. If you choose an executor who is older than you are, such as a parent or grandparent, and do not anticipate passing away very soon, your executor may no longer be able to perform his or her duties by the time they are called upon to do so. Furthermore, it is frowned upon to name an executor who is already mentally incapacitated or showing signs of mental instability.

In general, you have great latitude to name whoever you would like as your executor, and with proper guidance and appropriate documentation of your wishes, many people can perform the duties quite well. If you are ready to name an executor to your will or estate plan, you can reach out to an experienced attorney who will walk you through the process and ensure that your rights remain protected.

Source: findlaw, "Choosing the Executor FAQ," accessed May 12, 2017

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