Can someone that lives out of state serve as the Executor of an Estate in NC?
The short answer is "yes" they certainly can. NC clerks will appoint someone who is named in the will as Executor even if they live out of state. However, it is important to know what is involved before accepting the role of Executor for someone who lives out of state because it can be cumbersome and inconvenient.
Things to consider before accepting the role of Executor:
a. How far away does the Executor live and how easy is it for them to get to NC? How is their health? Can they afford the travel? The Executor will likely have to come to NC several times to meet with an attorney, sign paperwork, meet with the Clerk possibly, and handle other estate affairs.
b. Where are the deceased's bank accounts located? If in NC, the Executor will be responsible for accessing bank records, opening safety deposit boxes, and setting up an estate bank account, which will likely require the physical presence of the Executor.
c. Are there any vehicles titled in the deceased's name in NC? If so, the Executor will be responsible for going to DMV to transfer the title to the vehicles.
d. If there are any contested issues in the estate (family disputes, etc), the Executor may be required to appear at hearings in the courthouse.
e. North Carolina requires a resident process agent to be appointed to accept service on their behalf. While not a huge deal, as estate probate law firms will generally serve in this role, it is just one more step and extra expense the Executor will need to take into consideration.
f. Most clerks' offices will require the Executor to be bonded in order to serve in this role, which is also another step and expense.
If considering stepping into the role of an out of state Executor, please contact an attorney to discuss the details of your particular estate matter and to see how much time will be involved.