Michigan Restrictions on Who Can Serve as Executor

Learn the rules about who can be your personal representative in Michigan.

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—commonly called a "personal representative" in Michigan. 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 Michigan.

Basic Requirements for Serving as a Michigan Executor

Michigan statutes provide no specific requirements an executor must meet—except an executor must be 18 or older. 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. The court must appoint that person unless someone else challenges your choice of executor and there is clear evidence that your choice is "incompetent or unsuitable" to serve. (Mich. Comp. Laws §§ 700.3203; 700.3204 (2024).)

In Michigan, a person who abused, neglected, exploited, or feloniously and intentionally killed the decedent is barred from serving as the decedent's personal representative. (Mich. Comp. Laws § 700.2803 (2024).)

Michigan Restrictions on Out-of-State Executors

Unlike many other states, Michigan does not impose special requirements on executors who live out of state. But that doesn't mean it's a good idea to appoint someone who lives far away. For practical reasons, it's usually best to name an executor who lives near you. Your executor may have to handle day-to-day matters for weeks, months, or sometimes longer.

Learn More

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

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