One of the most important reasons to make a will is to name your executor. 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 Connecticut.
Connecticut statutes provide no specific requirements an executor must meet. You are free to name any adult that you trust as your executor, and the court must appoint that person unless there is irrefutable evidence that he or she is incompetent. (See Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 45a-290; 38 Conn. L. Rptr. 328.)
Choose someone who is honest and able to keep track of details in an organized way. Before you make your will, be sure your choice is willing to accept the job.
Although Connecticut has no formal requirements for who can serve as your executor, a Connecticut probate court can reject a potential executor found to be incompetent. 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 persons interested” in your estate -- 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. (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § § 45a-290, 45a-303.)
For practical reasons, it’s smart to name an executor who lives near you. Your executor may have to handle day-to-day matters for weeks, months, or sometimes longer. If you appoint an executor who lives far away, you should know the requirements Connecticut imposes on out-of-state representatives.
In Connecticut, a nonresident executor must appoint the judge of the probate court in the county where the estate is being probated as an in-state agent to accept legal papers. (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § § 45a-206, 52-60.)
If you want to know more about what an executor can expect during the probate process in Connecticut, the Connecticut Probate Court Administration offers an online user guide.
For more information about choosing your executor and making your will, see the Wills section of Nolo.com.