Can someone serve as an executor if they were charged with a felony?

UPDATED: Nov 7, 2011

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Can someone serve as an executor if they were charged with a felony?

Convivted 18 years ago for selling marijuana in a school district.

Asked on November 7, 2011 under Estate Planning, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

There is no law against a convicted felon serving as an executor. The main requirement to be an executor is that the person chosen be mentally competent and be capable at the time of discharging the role. While there are a number of rules concerning how the executor should act (e.g. no self-dealing--that is, no putting his or her own interests ahead of those of the beneficiaries), there are few restrictions on who is eligible for the role. (Unless the will itself states that a potential executor is disqualifed by a conviction; that would be enforced.)

If the conviction you mention is the would-be executor's only conviction, it may be possible to expunge it; the would-be executor should consult with an attorney in detail about the situation if interested in pursuing this.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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