An Executor refers to a person that is designated by a testator to administer the will so that the final wishes are respected.
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.
Duhaime Legal Dictionary
A person specifically appointed by a testator to administer the will ensuring that final wishes are respected (i.e. that the will is properly "executed").
In law, person designated by a testator—i.e., a person making a will—to direct the distribution of his estate after his death.
n. the person appointed to administer the estate of a person who has died leaving a will which nominates that person. Unless there is a valid objection, the judge will appoint the person named in the will to be executor. The executor must insure that the person's desires expressed in the will are carried out. Practical responsibilities include gathering up and protecting the assets of the estate, obtaining information in regard to all beneficiaries named in the will and any other potential heirs, collecting and arranging for payment of debts of the estate, approving or disapproving creditor's claims, making sure estate taxes are calculated, forms filed and tax payments made, and in all ways assisting the attorney for the estate (which the executor can select).
A person named by a testator to execute or carry out the instructions in a will.
Lect Law Library
The person or entity named in a will who has the responsibility of carrying out the terms of the will (that is, collecting the will maker's assets, paying the debts, and distributing the remaining assets to the beneficiaries)
Executor is also a legal term referring to a person named by a maker of a will, or nominated by the testator, to carry out the directions of the will. Typically, the executor is the person responsible for offering the will for probate, although it is not absolutely required that he or she do so. The executor's duties also include the disbursement of property to the beneficiaries as designated in the will, obtaining information about any other potential heirs, collecting and arranging for payment of debts of the estate and approving or disapproving creditors' claims. An executor also makes sure estate taxes are calculated, necessary forms are filed and tax payments made, and in all ways assists the attorney for the estate. Also the executor makes all donations as left in bequests to charitable and other organizations as directed in the will. In most circumstances the executor is the representative of the estate for all purposes, and has the ability to sue or be sued on behalf of the estate. The executor also holds legal title to the estate property, but may not use that property for the executor's own benefit unless expressly permitted by the terms of the will.
A person who deals with a deceased person's property without proper authority is known as an executor de son tort. Such a person's actions may subsequently be ratified by the lawful executors or administrators if the actions do not contradict the substantive provisions of the deceased's will or the rights of heirs at law...
Where there is no will, a person is said to have died intestate - "without testimony". As a result, there can be no actual 'testimony' to follow, and hence there can be no executor. If there is no will or where the executors named in a will do not wish to act, an administrator of the deceased's estate may instead be appointed. The generic term for executors or administrators is personal representative.
Under Scottish law, a personal representative of any kind is referred to as an executor, using executor nominate to refer to an executor and executor dative to an administrator.