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 Illinois.
Your executor must be:
Like many other states, Illinois also prohibits people who have felony convictions from serving as executor.
(755 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/6-13.)
In addition to the restrictions above, an Illinois probate court will reject a potential executor found to be a "disabled person." This means that your executor cannot be someone who:
(755 Ill. Comp. Stat. § § 5/6-13, 5/11a-2.)
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 must appoint an executor who lives far away, you should know the requirements Illinois imposes on out-of-state representatives.
In Illinois, the court may require a nonresident executor to post bond, even if your will expressly states that no bond is required. (755 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/6-13.)
For more information about choosing your executor and making your will, see the Wills section of Nolo.com.