Arizona Restrictions on Who Can Serve as Executor

Learn the rules about who can be your executor in Arizona.

By , MSLIS · Long Island University
Updated by Jeff Burtka, Attorney · George Mason University Law School

One of the most important reasons to make a will is to name your executor—sometimes called a "personal representative" in Arizona. 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 Arizona.

Basic Requirements for Serving as an Arizona Executor

Your executor must be:

  • at least 18 years old, and
  • of sound mind—that is, not judged incapacitated by a court.

(Ariz. Rev. Stat. §§ 1-215, 14-3203 (2024).)

Many states prohibit people who have felony convictions from serving as executor. In Arizona, however, there is no statute prohibiting you from naming an executor who has been convicted of a felony. But someone who "feloniously and intentionally" kills another person can't be the deceased person's executor. (Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 14-2803 (2024).)

Special Rules for Executors in Arizona

In addition to the restrictions above, an Arizona probate court will reject a potential executor found to be "unsuitable in formal proceedings." It's highly unlikely, but if a question arises about the qualifications of the person you've named as your executor, the court will hold a formal hearing in front of all "interested persons"—such as your spouse, heirs, creditors, and other potential executors. At the hearing, a judge will determine who is best suited to serve as executor and terminate any appointment found to be improper. (Ariz. Rev. Stat. §§ 14-1201, 14-3203, 14-3414 (2024).)

Arizona Restrictions on Out-of-State Executors

In Arizona, your executor can't be a "foreign corporation." This means that a corporation based outside of the state of Arizona would be ineligible to serve as your executor. (Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 14-3203 (2024).)

You'e free to appoint an individual who lives out of state to serve as your executor. But think carefully before naming someone who lives far away. For practical reasons, it's usually best to name an executor who lives near you. Your executor might have to handle day-to-day matters for weeks, months, or sometimes longer.

Learn More

If you want to know more about an executor's duties and responsibilities, the Arizona Judicial Branch offers online training for personal representatives.

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

Ready to create your will?

Get Professional Help
Talk to an Estate Planning attorney.
There was a problem with the submission. Please refresh the page and try again
Full Name is required
Email is required
Please enter a valid Email
Phone Number is required
Please enter a valid Phone Number
Zip Code is required
Please add a valid Zip Code
Please enter a valid Case Description
Description is required

How It Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you