Executor

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. Probate

    The legal process in which a will is reviewed to determine whether ...
  2. Personal Representative

    The executor or administrator for the estate of a deceased person. ...
  3. Executrix

    A female individual who is responsible for executing the provisions ...
  4. IRS Publication 559: Survivors, ...

    A document published by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that ...
  5. Intestate

    The act of dying without a legal will. Determining the distribution ...
  6. Gross Estate

    The total dollar value of all property and assets in which an ...
Related Articles
  1. 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.
  2. Managing Wealth

    Before You Agree to Be an Executor: Know This

    How to avoid 5 surprising hazards of being the executor of an estate.
  3. Financial Advisor

    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.
  4. Managing Wealth

    Want Your Will to Prevail? Don't Die Intestate

    If you die without making a last will and testament, you are said to have died intestate. What happens to your assets in this case?
  5. Retirement

    The Executor's Checklist: 7 Things To Do Before They Die

    Being an executor comes with a lot of responsibility, and these tips will reduce the complications that can come with the job.
  6. Financial Advisor

    Estate Planning Goes Digital: How to Get Started

    Digital estate planning is an important part of the estate planning process given today's tech-centric world. Here's how to create this type of plan.
  7. Managing Wealth

    Avoid These 4 Common Causes of Family Estate Fights

    Sibling battles over their parents' belongings are quite common. But open family discussions before the parent dies can often prevent them.
  8. Managing Wealth

    Estate Planning for Singles

    Now that singles dominate the population, it's important they understand the essentials of estate planning for indivdiuals.
  9. Financial Advisor

    How Life Insurance Can Help Reduce Estate Taxes

    Inheritance is a double-edged sword, as leaving money can create estate tax burdens. Opting for a life insurance plan can help mitigate those burdens.
  10. Managing Wealth

    What To Do When You're Left Out Of A Will

    Discover the legal steps you can take if you are left out of a will and if fighting is worth the effort.
RELATED FAQS
  1. 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 Answer >>
  2. How do I handle the taxes 1099-R contributions?

    Total employee’s contributions on the 1099 R form are $18,822.00. Does the executor of the estate ... Read Answer >>
  3. What do we need to do to make an agreement for the purchase of the ownership shares?

    The house belonged to my grandparents who are deceased. In my grandmother's will everything was to be left to her 5 grandchildren. ... Read Answer >>
  4. How do we get more information about a testamentary trust?

    There are 17 beneficiaries on a $900K testamentary trust. The bank and our advisor tell us it's in the closing ... Read Answer >>
  5. How much are the taxes on a $10,000 life insurance policy?

    The owner of the policy is deceased.  ... Read Answer >>
  6. A relative left myself and 6 other family members about 70 acres. If we sell right ...

     The property evaluates at $200,000. If there are any costs involved, about how much would they b... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Frexit

    Frexit – short for "French exit" – is a French spinoff of the term Brexit, which emerged when the United Kingdom voted to ...
  2. AAA

    The highest possible rating assigned to the bonds of an issuer by credit rating agencies. An issuer that is rated AAA has ...
  3. GBP

    The abbreviation for the British pound sterling, the official currency of the United Kingdom, the British Overseas Territories ...
  4. Diversification

    A risk management technique that mixes a wide variety of investments within a portfolio. The rationale behind this technique ...
  5. European Union - EU

    A group of European countries that participates in the world economy as one economic unit and operates under one official ...
  6. Sell-Off

    The rapid selling of securities, such as stocks, bonds and commodities. The increase in supply leads to a decline in the ...
Trading Center