If the best candidate to appoint as the executor of your estate lives in a different state than you, it is possible to designate him or her.
However, there are some drawbacks in doing so that need to be considered.
The executor of your estate should be someone trustworthy who has financial acumen and who is willing to undertake the sometimes thankless job. Ideally, the executor will live nearby but sometimes the best person for the job does not live nearby and instead lives in a different state.
Nevertheless, you can still designate that person as your executor, but there are some drawbacks to doing this.
This subject was considered in a recent NWI Times article entitled "Pros and cons of an out-of-state executor."
The two biggest drawbacks are availability and time.
Executors are often required to make personal appearances at court hearings. It can be burdensome and expensive for an out-of-state executor to make the travel arrangements. Logistically, paper correspondence may also take longer.
According to the article, some states have additional requirements when the executor is a non-resident. For example, the state of Indiana requires out-of-state executors to post a bond and appoint someone who is a state resident as a registered agent for service of process. Other states have similar requirements.
On the plus side, appointing an out-of-state executor allows you to designate the best person for the job. Many of the negatives of doing so can be mitigated if the executor hires a local estate attorney to assist with the administration.
In fact, an estate planning attorney can help you with this essential selection and other critical decisions when planning your estate.
Reference: NWI Times (Feb. 7, 2016) "Pros and cons of an out-of-state executor."