Kentucky Restrictions on Who Can Serve as Executor

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

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 Kentucky.

Basic Requirements for Serving as a Kentucky Executor

Your executor must be:

  • at least 18 years old, unless your will specifically names a younger person executor, and
  • of sound mind -- that is, not judged incapacitated by a court.

(Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § § 395.005, 395.080.)

Many states prohibit people who have felony convictions from serving as executor. In Kentucky, however, there is no statute prohibiting you from naming an executor who has been convicted of a felony.

Rules for Corporate Executors in Kentucky

While you can name a bank or trust company as your executor, it must be authorized to act as fiduciary in Kentucky. (Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 395.005.)That said, think carefully before appointing a corporation to represent your estate. It’s almost always best to name an individual; consider an institution only if you don’t know anyone you trust enough to serve or your estate is very large and complex.

Kentucky Restrictions on Out-of-State Executors

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 Kentucky imposes on out-of-state representatives.

In Kentucky, a nonresident can serve as your executor only if he or she is related to you by blood, adoption, or marriage, or is the spouse of one of these relatives. (Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 395.005.)

Learn More

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

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