One of the most important reasons to make a will is to name your executor -- sometimes called a "succession representative" in Louisiana. 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 Louisiana.
Your executor must be:
Many states prohibit people who have felony convictions from serving as executor. In Louisiana, your executor cannot be a convicted felon under any federal or state law.
(La. Code. Civ. Proc. Art. 3097.)
In addition to the restrictions above, a Louisiana probate court will reject a potential executor found to be unfit to serve "because of bad moral character." It's highly unlikely, but if a question arises about the conduct of the person you've named as your executor, the court will hold a hearing in front of everyone with an interest 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. (La. Code Civ. Proc. Art. 3097, 3182.)
While you can name a corporation as your executor, it must be authorized to perform the duties required of the office in Louisiana. (See La. Code Civ. Proc. Art. 3097.) 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.
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 Louisiana imposes on out-of-state executors.
In Louisiana, a nonresident executor must appoint someone who lives in the state to act as a resident agent. Your executor's in-state agent will accept legal papers on behalf of your estate. (La. Code Civ. Proc. Art. 3097.)
For more information about choosing your executor and making your will, see the Wills section of Nolo.com.