Can a Nonresident of Tennessee Serve as an Executor of a Tennessee Estate?

Posted on Jun 1 2014 7:00PM by Attorney, Jason A. Lee

The short answer to this question is yes, in most circumstances.  T.C.A. § 30-1-116 provides as follows:


No nonresident person, bank or trust company may be appointed as the personal representative of an estate of a decedent, except as provided in § 35-50-107.


As a result, we need to look at T.C.A. § 35-50-107 to determine the answer to this question.  This statute in subsection (a)(2)(B) provides as follows:


(2) The following nonresident persons or corporations may serve as fiduciaries, whether the appointment is by will, deed, trust agreement, court order or decree or otherwise:

 (B) Any resident or nonresident person may serve as a personal representative of the estate of a decedent;


As a result, any nonresident person can serve as the personal representative (executor, executrix or administrator) of an estate of a decedent.  This applies as long as the personal representative is an actual person and not a corporate entity (although there are rules that allow this as well).  It is also important to note that T.C.A. § 35-50-107 has other filing requirements for nonresident personal representatives that must be followed.  An attorney should be consulted to assist with these issues. 


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TAGS: Probate Process, Executor/Executrix, Tennessee Probate Law
J Chick  -  7/7/2015 12:49:37 PM
Thank you very much for your help. It's unfortunate that you are 200 miles from her....I would send her to you!

Jason  -  7/7/2015 11:51:43 AM
No, that is not accurate. You can serve as an executor of the estate. This article sets for the statute that addresses this question. I get this question a lot and for some reason a lot of people (including attorneys) are confused on this issue.


J Chick  -  7/7/2015 11:43:55 AM
My mother lives in Tenn., and I live in N.C. She wants to make me the Executor of her estate, but her lawyer told her I cannot since I live in another state. From what I can tell in the statutes, this is not true. What should she tell her lawyer?

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Jason A. Lee is a Member of Burrow Lee, PLLC. Contact Jason at 615-540-1004 or jlee@burrowlee.com for an initial consultation on wills estate planning and probate issues.

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Tennessee Wills and Estates Blog
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