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Does your estate executor have to live in the same state?

If you are a New Jersey resident working on your estate plan, you might wonder how limited your choice of executor is. The law doesn't put that many limitations on your choice, and it doesn't limit your executor to those who live in the state of New Jersey. This is not the same in every state -- some states require an executor who lives in the same state where the estate is to be probated.

If you choose someone who lives out of state to execute your estate, they do need to know a few things about the process. Someone who is already named as an executor of an estate and decides to move away from the state should also know about these things. First, a person outside of the state might be required to post a bond if they want to continue as an executor for an estate in New Jersey.

You can get around this requirement by expressly waiving that necessity in your will. If you think that your executor might end up in a different state, you can include such a waiver in your will just in case.

One reason someone might not want to be executor of an estate in a state they don't reside is because they think they will have to travel for probate matters. The surrogate's court in New Jersey makes it possible to handle many estate administration tasks without personally visiting the court.

An executor doesn't always commit to the position for life, either, so if you ask someone to take on this role, know that they can voluntarily renounce the position. It can be a good idea to include a plan B in your estate plans for just this reason. By working with an estate lawyer, you can make sure all such details are covered to protect yourself and your heirs.

Source: New Jersey 101.5, "Does your executor need to live in New Jersey?," Karin Price Mueller, NJMoneyHelp.com, July 05, 2016

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