Executor

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Executor'

An individual appointed to administrate the estate of a deceased person. The executor's main duty is to carry out the instructions and wishes of the deceased. The executor is appointed either by the testator of the will (the individual who makes the will) or by a court, in cases where there was no prior appointment.

BREAKING DOWN 'Executor'

The executor is responsible for making sure all assets in the will are accounted for, along with transferring these assets to the correct party. He or she also needs to ensure that all the debts of the deceased are paid off, including any taxes. The executor is legally obligated to meet the wishes of the deceased and act in the interest of the deceased. The executor can be almost anyone but is usually a lawyer, accountant or family member, with the only restriction being that he or she must be over the age of 18 and have no prior felony convictions.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Executrix

    A female individual who is responsible for executing the provisions ...
  2. Last Will And Testament

    A legal document that communicates a person's final wishes, as ...
  3. Final Return For Decedent

    The final tax return filed for an individual in the year of that ...
  4. Estate Planning

    The collection of preparation tasks that serve to manage an individual's ...
  5. Estate Tax

    A tax levied on an heir's inherited portion of an estate if the ...
  6. Estate

    All of the valuable things an individual owns, such as real estate, ...
Related Articles
  1. Retirement

    6 Estate Planning Must-Haves

    You need an estate plan even if you don't have significant assets. Learn what you need to include in yours.
  2. Personal Finance

    4 Things To Consider Before Becoming An Estate Executor

    Executing a will takes more work than you might think. Make sure you are up to the task before agreeing to be an executor.
  3. Retirement

    How To Choose The Right Executor For Your Estate

    Making a careful choice now can save your heirs from a lot of problems later.
  4. Options & Futures

    Getting Started On Your Estate Plan

    With some preparation, you can save your heirs from paying a hefty estate tax. Here are some tips.
  5. Options & Futures

    An Estate Planning Must: Update Your Beneficiaries

    Life changes make it time to rewrite your plan's designations.
  6. Retirement

    Refusing An Inheritance

    Contrary to popular belief, inheriting assets isn't always a good thing. Find out what to do if you want to disclaim them.
  7. Options & Futures

    Your Will: Why You Need A Power Of Attorney And Beneficiaries

    What would happen if you were suddenly unable to manage your financial affairs? Preparation is the best protection.
  8. Retirement

    Letter Of Instruction - Don't Leave Life Without It

    This simple document can take the guesswork and headache out of settling your estate.
  9. Retirement

    Estate Planning Basics

    Deciding what will happen to your assets when you pass away is a must - no matter how wealthy you are.
  10. Insurance

    Who is a Beneficiary?

    A beneficiary is a person or entity that receives funds, assets, property or other benefits from a trust, will, or life insurance policy.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What is a fiduciary deed and when is it useful?

    A fiduciary deed is used to transfer property rights in a sale when a fiduciary must act as an executor of the sale on behalf ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What should I consider when I select an executor for my will?

    The executor of a will is the person designated with the task of administering the will's instructions. The responsibilities ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Can I put my IRA in a trust?

    You cannot put your IRA in a trust while you are living. You can, however, name a trust as the beneficiary of your IRA and ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How does the trust maker transfer funds into a revocable trust?

    Once a revocable trust is created, a trust maker transfers funds or property into the trust by including them in a list with ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What is the difference between a revocable trust and a living trust?

    A revocable trust and living trust are separate terms that describe the same thing: a trust in which the terms can be changed ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How exactly does one go about revoking a revocable trust?

    The basic steps involved in revoking a revocable trust are fairly simple, and include transfer of assets and an official ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Financial Crisis

    A situation in which the value of financial institutions or assets drops rapidly. A financial crisis is often associated ...
  2. Election Period

    The period of time during which an investor who owns an extendable or retractable bond must indicate to the issuer whether ...
  3. Shanghai Stock Exchange

    The largest stock exchange in mainland China, the Shanghai Stock Exchange is a nonprofit organization run by the China Securities ...
  4. Dead Cat Bounce

    A temporary recovery from a prolonged decline or bear market, followed by the continuation of the downtrend. A dead cat bounce ...
  5. Bear Market

    A market condition in which the prices of securities are falling, and widespread pessimism causes the negative sentiment ...
  6. Alligator Spread

    An unprofitable spread that occurs as a result of large commissions charged on the transaction, regardless of favorable market ...
Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!