Can a felon be an executor of an estate?

A family member, who is a convicted felon, has petitioned the court to serve as executor of my grandfather’s estate. She has withdrawn thousands of dollars out of his personal account and is now attempting to cash in on his bank stocks. Can she do this? By the way, she lives in another state.

Asked on February 28, 2016 under Estate Planning, Tennessee

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

In MI, unlike some other states, there are no specific requirements that an executor must meet. The testator (maker of a Will), is free to name any adult that they trust as their executor. The court must appoint that person unless someone else challenges the choice and there is clear evidence that they are “incompetent or unsuitable” to serve as executor. If there is no Will, and this woman is petititoning the court to be appointed as the personal representative, the court will choose someone who is trustworthy and reliable. Since you have objections to her appointment, that would be the time and place to address them. Finally, MI is one of the states that does not impose special requirements on executors who live out of state.


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