Making a will counts among one of the important steps you can take to distribute your estate after your passing. You also need to appoint an executor who will perform several functions necessary to the distribution of assets.

When selecting an executor, keep in mind that New Hampshire law lays out several requirements for this position. In addition to legal rules, you should consider other factors that could affect your prospective executor’s ability to carry out the expected duties.

Basic age and capacity requirements

A New Hampshire executor must be at least 18 years old and have adequate mental capacity, which for this purpose simply means a court has not ruled this person incapacitated. New Hampshire probate courts will reject executors who do not meet these requirements.

Disqualification of unsuitable executors

Additionally, the courts may refuse to approve executors who have conflicts of interest or whom they deem otherwise unsuitable. In most cases where this happens, it is a result of a challenge by interested parties who believe the appointed executor should not carry out this function.

New Hampshire law also bars your executor’s executor from serving as your own. This means that if your executor passes during the probate of your estate, his executor cannot step in to take over this role. For this reason, you may want to include an alternate executor who can serve if your first choice becomes unable to do so.

Thinking beyond the legal aspects

When thinking about appointing your executor, consider the practical aspects. Ask yourself if this person would have problems with any of your will provisions. The executor must manage a host of practical issues concerning your estate, during a very emotional time, so you want to select someone with the right organizational skills.

If possible, look for an executor who lives within a short distance. The probate process can take many months to complete, so someone who has to travel a long way to handle your estate could find it a burden. New Hampshire law also has additional requirements for out-of-state executors, demanding probate court approval and the appointment of a resident agent within the state.