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Who Can Be An Executor?

Any natural person or person authorized by law can serve as the executor of a Will. However, there are exceptions as enumerated in the Surrogate Court Procedure Act §707.

1. Persons ineligible

(a) an infant

(b) an incompetent

(c) a non-domiciliary alien except one who is a foreign guardian as provided in subdivision four of section one thousand seven hundred sixteen of this chapter, or one who shall serve with one or more co-fiduciaries, at least one of whom is resident in this state. Any appointment of a non-domiciliary alien fiduciary or a New York resident fiduciary hereunder shall be made by the court its discretion

(d) a felon

(e) one who does not possess the qualifications required of a fiduciary by reason of substance abuse, dishonesty, improvidence, want of understanding, or who is otherwise unfit for the execution of the office.

2. Persons ineligible in court's discretion. The court may declare ineligible to act as fiduciary a person unable to read and write the English language.

Accordingly, you can nominate whomever you want as your executor so long as you comply with the statute as noted above. Your nominee for a fiduciary in a Will is given great deference by the court especially in the absence of an actual statutory basis for disqualifying the nominee. Although that is not an absolute outcome, a clear showing must be made that your choice of fiduciary is unfit as per the criteria laid out in the Surrogate Court Procedure Act to be precluded from serving as the fiduciary.

If you have estate questions, give us a call at 516-570-4016 to discuss your matter to see how we can help you.