One of the most important reasons to make a will is to name your executor -- sometimes called a “personal representative” in Wyoming. 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 Wyoming.
Your executor must be a U.S. resident and citizen. Otherwise, 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 is negligent or incompetent and will endanger your estate. (See Wyo. Stat. § 2-11-301; 295 P.2d 985.)
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.
Wyoming statutes permit you to name any bank or a trust company conducting business in the state as your executor. You can also name a bank or trust company based outside of Wyoming, as long as it appoints a resident agent to receive your estate’s legal papers. (See Wyo. Stat. § 2-11-301.)
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 Wyoming imposes on out-of-state executors.
In Wyoming, 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. (Wyo. Stat. § 2-11-301.)
If you want to know more about an executor’s duties and responsibilities in Wyoming, the University of Wyoming Extension offers a bookletdescribing the probate process.
For more information about choosing your executor and making your will, see the Wills section of Nolo.com.