What Is an Executrix?

An executrix refers to a woman who has been assigned responsibility for executing the provisions set forth in a last will and testament.​​​​​ The responsibilities of an executrix and executor are the same.

Understanding an Executrix

The executrix, like any executor, is legally required to satisfy the wishes of the deceased as set forth in the will. It is the job of the executrix to act in the interest and on behalf of the deceased. Many people assign lawyers and accountants the responsibility for executing their will, though trusted family members are also commonly assigned to this role. The only real requirement to execute a will is that a person must be over the age of 18 and have no prior felony convictions.

The executrix makes sure all of the assets in the will are accounted for and distributed to all of the parties named in the will. Among the executor’s responsibilities is to estimate the value of the estate overall using the date of death value or the alternative valuation date according to the Internal Revenue Code. Among assets taken into consideration when assessing the value of the estate are any and all financial holdings, real estate, and the deceased’s possessions. 

The executor also needs to ensure that any debts carried by the deceased are settled, including any taxes owed or outstanding credit card balances. 

Executrix and Estate Planning

Executors are an important part of the estate planning process for people, as well as their beneficiaries, given their duty to carry out the wishes of the deceased.

Broadly, estate planning is the framework that details how an individual’s assets will be managed prior to and distributed after death. Notably, estate planning is not just for post-death; it can also refer to account the management of the individual’s properties and financial obligations should they become incapacitated.

The most fundamental step taken with estate planning is to draft a will. The process may also include deploying certain strategies to limit associated estate taxes upon death, such as setting up trust accounts in the name of beneficiaries. Directing an annual gift to a qualified charitable or non-profit organization could have an added benefit of lowering the taxable estate.

Estate planning could also involve designating beneficiaries on life insurance policies, individual retirement accounts, and 401(k)s. It may involve establishing guardianship should an individual have surviving dependents. Laying out last requests, including funeral arrangements, can be a part of the process as well.