Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Executor Definition:

A person specifically appointed by a will-maker to administer the will ensuring that final wishes are respected (i.e. that the will is properly "executed").

Related Terms: Administrator, Personal Representative, Trustee, Will, Executor De Son Tort, Executor's Year, Digital Executor

An executor holds his/her office as a trustee to the beneficiaries of the estate, and thus he/she is held to fiduciary duties.

In Williams on Wills, Volume 1, The Law of Wills, 8th Edition (London: Butterworths, 2002), page 225, author Sherrin, C. and others write:

"An executor is the person appointed by the will to administer the property of the testator and to carry into effect the provisions of the will.

"The ordinary method of appointing an executor is for the testator to name in his will a specific person to be his executor."

An executor is a personal representative.

A female executor is called an executrix.

, Mercer School of Law Professor, Karen Sneddon, in her article The Will as Personal Narrative, at 20 Elder L.J. 355 at page 372, suggests that the term executor in Russian translates to:

"... spokesperson for the soul."1


  • NOTE 1: Professor Sneddon, on this, relies on the 2005 book by Alexander Bove, The Complete Book of Wills, Estates & Trusts, 3rd. ed. (publisher Henry Holt & Co.)

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