New Jersey Restrictions on Who Can Serve as Executor

Learn the rules about who can be your executor in New Jersey.

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. 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 New Jersey.

Basic Requirements for Serving as a New Jersey Executor

New Jersey's statutes provide no specific requirements an executor must meet, and you are free to name any adult that you trust as your executor. 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 the person you name in your will unless there is clear evidence that your choice acquired the position through fraud or misconduct, is incapacitated, or otherwise unsuitable to serve. (See N.J. Stat. §§ 3B:1-1; 3B:14-21 (2024); In re Estate of Margow, 77 N.J. 316 (1978).)

Many states prohibit people who have felony convictions from serving as executor. In New Jersey, however, there is no statute prohibiting you from naming an executor who has been convicted of a felony. But a person who intentionally killed the decedent is barred from serving as the decedent's executor. (N.J. Stat. § 3B:7-1.1 (2024).)

New Jersey 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 that a nonresident executor must post bond unless your will specifically waives that requirement. (N.J. Stat. § 3B:15-1 (2024).)

Learn More

For more information about choosing your executor and making your will, see the Wills section of To read the New Jersey statutes listed in this article, visit the New Jersey Legislature's statutes page

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