Winston-salem, NC asked in Estate Planning for North Carolina

Q: As power of Attorney for a relative who cannot handle her deceased son’s estate, can I name a family member executor?

I have POA over his next of kin, his mother, I need to name a family member executor.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Crossville, TN

A: A person nominates an executor for his or her eventual estate in his or her will. An agent acting under a power of attorney does NOT have the authority to make or amend a will for the principal so, no, you cannot "name" an executor for another person.

Also, understand that a court is not necessarily obligated to appoint the person "named" in the will as executor. The "naming" of an executor is really a nomination subject to court approval. Sometimes the court appoints someone else for a variety of reasons.

That said, the family member that wants to serve as executor of an existing estate can file a petition to be appointed as executor of the estate. If nobody contests the petition, it is likely that the court will appoint that person as executor because nobody else came forward.

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