Another will probate question

I don’t THINK this is asking for legal advice, again, but rather a general question.

If you, as executor of someone’s will, live in a different county from where the decedent lived, is it better (or required, for that matter) to use a lawyer local to you, or a lawyer located in the decedent’s home county?

Well, if this concerns an actual real life situation, of course you’re asking for legal advice. And don’t give enough information for a meaningful answer even if it were permitted. Sticking to generalities, the question is one of choice of law. In what jurisdiction should the will be probated? If, as seems likely, it’s the decedent’s place of residence, what is required is the advice of a lawyer in that jurisdiction. Assuming you’re the executor, you can consult a lawyer in your jurisdiction, but I expect s/he will give the same answer.

We have a lady at work who is a Canadian married to an American. They have three boys, all American.

When they went to do wills three years ago she learned that she could not be the executor of her husbands will because she was not an American citizen. She has attained US citizenship and can now be the executor of her husbands will. She was able to keep here Canidian citizenship as well.

That’s odd. I’ve never heard of executorship being dependent on citizenship. It may well be a jurisdictional matter, though; dependent on local statutes.

FTR, as a lawyer practicing in Alberta, Canada, I will say that I have taken will instructions from clients who are not Canadian citizens, but who are legal residents of Canada; and who name foreigners resident in non-Canadian jurisdictions as executors. I do warn them that there is nothing barring them from naming foreigners as executors, but that logistics may prove a problem. Still, if they insist upon naming foreigners as executors, their wills are perfectly legal in our jurisdiction. Another reason why it is best to consult a lawyer licensed to practice in your jurisdiction when preparing a will.

As for the OP’s question, I’d suggest putting your question to the decedent’s lawyer, wherever he or she is located. If legal requirements dependent on the county indicate that another county’s lawyer is necessary, the decedent’s lawyer will tell you.

I would always go with someone licensed in the jurisdiction where the will is probated. I would even make the choice were you are only talking about different states within the US. I had to do a real estate transaction a few years ago that required the chain of title be established. There was no way I would have used anyone but an attorney in that jurisdiction (who also happened to be married to a judge, but that’s another story).