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Who can serve as the executor of an estate in Indiana?

On Behalf of | Jul 17, 2023 | Estate Administration

If an Indiana resident has a will, it is likely that they have selected an executor of their estate in that document. The executor is the person that will wind down their estate and ensure the provisions in the will are followed per their wishes. However, Indiana law limits who can serve as the executor of an estate.

Who can be an executor in Indiana?

The rules regarding who can serve as an executor in Indiana can be found in Indiana Code § 29-1-10-1(b).

  • First, executors in Indiana must be age 18 or older. Minors are not permitted to serve as executors. You will not want to name a minor as your executor anticipating that by the time you pass the minor will be an adult. This is because you cannot predict when you will pass away. There is the possibility that you might die before the minor reaches the age of majority, in which case they will not be able to serve as your executor.
  • Second, executors in Indiana must be of sound mind. This means a court has not adjudicated that the executor is incapacitated. Being of sound mind is essential, as executors have many responsibilities that can only be handled by a competent individual.
  • Third, executors in Indiana cannot have any felony convictions on their record. This includes felonies under state and federal law. It is a common practice in many states to prohibit convicted felons from serving as executors of an estate.
  • Fourth, there remains the possibility that a court will find that a proposed executor is unsuitable and thus cannot serve in said role. This generally relates to the qualifications of the proposed executor. Courts retain the right to determine if an executor is suitable and can reject the appointment of a proposed executor if that person is not qualified for the role.

Executors have many important duties and responsibilities. It is important that they can effectively carry out their obligations. For this reason, Indiana imposes limits on who can serve as an executor of an estate.