Can Anyone Serve as the Executor of a New Hampshire Estate?

One of the most important reasons to create a will, regardless of your age or perception of your personal wealth, is to name an executor. This is because this important role is a person who will carry out the administration of your estate after you pass away.

Their primary job is to protect any of the property that you owned until any taxes and debts have been paid and then transfer any remaining property to your heirs who are entitled to it per your wishes.

Every state has rules about who can and cannot serve as an executor of an estate. Bear in mind that just because someone does meet the statutory grounds to serve as an executor doesn’t mean they want to serve in this role or that they’ll be successful in doing so.

The basic requirements for serving as an executor in New Hampshire are that this person must be of sound mind, meaning that they have not been judged incapacitated by any court, per New Hampshire RSA 21:44,533:4. There is no statute prohibiting a person from naming an executor who has been convicted of a felony in New Hampshire.

The other requirement for an executor in New Hampshire is that the party be at least 18 years old. Potential executors can be rejected by the courts in New Hampshire when they have a conflict of interest or for any reason found to be unsuitable for serving in this role or lack the ability to make sound judgements.

Need help writing your own will or changing who is named as an executor in your current will? Our NH estate planning law firm can help.

 

 

How to Designate a Guardian in Your Will

A child is considered a minor until he or she reaches age 18, at which point they are considered an adult and are capable of making legal decisions on their own. In the event that you have a minor child under the age of 18, naming a guardian in your will is one way to ensure that your child is cared for by a person that you trust and someone who is capable of serving in this role in the event that something happens to you and the other parent prior to the child reaching adulthood.

Reviewing or determining your choices for guardian of your minor child is an important step in your estate planning process. A guardian is an individual to whom the official legal care of your child is transferred if both parents pass away.

Naming a guardian in your will is a crucial act and is not one that is meant to be only sentimental. You are making a legal decision about the party who will care for your child as if they were that child’s parent until your child is no longer a minor. Guardians perform all duties of a parent, including decisions about a child’s religious teachings, medical care, education and upbringing, so it is critical that you choose someone with whom the child ideally has some form of relationship and a person who you trust to care for your minor child in this way.

In the event that if the individual named in your will is not the child’s surviving parent, the wishes could be overwritten in court and custody may be offered to the remaining parent in the event that the judge feels it is the best circumstance for your child. Decisions relating to guardianship when it is contested in this type of manner could lead to additional challenges in court.

Courts are instructed to make decisions regarding minor children in the best interests of the child in which they will consider numerous factors in arriving at this decision. To ensure there’s a plan for your family, work with an estate planning attorney in New Hampshire.