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.
New Jersey statutes provide no specific requirements an executor must meet, and you are free to name any adult that you trust as your executor. The court must appoint that person unless there is clear evidence that he or she acquired the position through fraud or misconduct, is incapacitated, or otherwise unsuitable to serve. (See N.J. Stat. Ann. § 3B:14-21; 77 N.J. 316.)
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.
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 New Jersey imposes on out-of-state executors.
In New Jersey, a nonresident executor must post bond unless your will specifically waives that requirement. (N.J. Stat. Ann. § 3B:15-1.)
For more information about choosing your executor and making your will, see the Wills section of Nolo.com.