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What are the qualifications to serve as an executor?

One of most important decisions that you may face during the estate planning process may be who you will choose as your executor or personal representative. You may already have a pre-selected candidate, yet before officially naming him or her as your personal representative, he or she must first meet a set of basic requirements set forth by the California Probate Code. Understanding what those are may not only make your choice of executor easier, but it may resolve any issues about your selection's legitimacy should it be challenged once he or she is called upon to oversee the administration of your estate.

Per state law, your candidate for executor must meet the following basic requirements:

  •          He or she must be of the age of majority. This likely goes with saying.  
  •          He or she is a ward of the estate. Such a distinction may call into question his or her abilities to effectively execute the tasks associated with administration.
  •          His or her conduct would meet the requirements to be removed from the role of executor. These include being under suspicion for having abused, embezzled, or mismanaged estate funds, having demonstrated a neglect towards the duties of an executor, or simply being unqualified to handle such a role.
  •          He or she is not a resident of the United States. Special considerations are given, however, to residents of other states.
  •          He or she is your surviving partner, and one of the interested parties to the estate objects to his or her appointment as executor.

You are able to appoint any person who meets the aforementioned qualifications as your executor. It should also be remember that he or she is also entitled to be compensated for his or her work from the estate’s assets. 

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