Alabama Restrictions on Who Can Serve as Executor

Learn the rules about who can be your personal representative in Alabama.

One of the most important reasons to make a will is to name your executor -- commonly called a “personal representative” in Alabama. After your death, your executor’s primary job is to protect your property until any debts and taxes have been paid, and then transfer what’s left to those who are entitled to it.

Every state has some rules about who may serve as the executor of an estate that goes through probate. Here are the requirements in Alabama.

Basic Requirements for Serving as an Alabama Executor

Your executor must be:

  • at least 19 years old, and
  • of sound mind -- that is, not judged incapacitated by a court.

Many states prohibit people who have felony convictions from serving as executor In Alabama, you cannot name an executor who has been convicted of an “infamous crime.” For example, someone who has been convicted of bribery, embezzlement, or perjury would be ineligible to act as your executor.

(Ala. Code § 43-2-22, A.L. Const. art. IV, § 60.)

Alabama Restrictions on Out-of-State Executors

Unlike many states, Alabama does not impose special requirements on executors who live out of state. But that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to appoint someone who lives far away. For practical reasons, it’s usually best to name an executor who lives near you. Your executor may have to handle day-to-day matters for weeks, months, or sometimes longer.

(Ala. Code § 43-2-191.)

Learn More

For more information about choosing your executor and making your will, see the Wills section of Nolo.com

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