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What are the qualifications to be an executor?

On Behalf of | Jan 20, 2022 | Fiduciary Representation |

Becoming the executor of your relative’s estate may feel like an honor, but it also comes with great responsibility since you will have to make sure all of the beneficiaries receive their share of the estate. If one or more heirs think you are mishandling the estate, they may try to remove you as executor, possibly by claiming that you are not even eligible to serve.

Kiplinger explains that under certain circumstances, a court may determine that you cannot act as an executor. So it is a good idea to be sure that you can serve before you formally agree to take up the position.

Age can be a factor

A minor cannot serve as an executor, so a court would disqualify an executor candidate under the age of 18. Still, a young adult who is 18 or 19 might struggle with certain executor duties if he or she lacks training or experience in financial and legal matters. So while a court might not disqualify a young adult on account of age, a young executor may end up making mistakes that could cause beneficiaries to complain and levy court challenges.

Citizenship and felon status

Courts want to retain jurisdiction over people who oversee estates, so an executor has to be subject to the laws of the state of Texas and of the United States. This would make it difficult for a court to accept you as an executor if you are not a citizen of the U.S. and do not live in Texas.

If you have a past criminal record, it does not necessarily mean a court will disqualify you. However, it depends on the severity of the offense. A misdemeanor might not be enough to prevent you from serving, but a court is more likely to bar a convicted felon from acting as an executor.

Avoid beneficiary conflict if possible

If you are of legal age and are a resident of Texas, you probably have little to worry about when it comes to qualifying to be an executor. Still, any executor may face removal on the grounds of incompetency or mishandling of fiduciary duties. Having assistance from financial or legal professionals may help you handle difficult questions that can come up during your tenure as executor.