executor

noun ex·ec·u·tor \ ig-ˈze-k(y)ə-tər or in sense 1 ˈek-sə-ˌkyü- \
Updated on: 1 Dec 2017

Definition of executor

1 a : one who executes something
b obsolete : executioner
2 a : the person appointed by a testator to execute a will

executorial

play \ig-ˌze-k(y)ə-ˈtȯr-ē-əl\ adjective

Examples of executor in a Sentence

  1. He named his daughter as his executor.

Recent Examples of executor from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'executor.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of executor

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin exsecutor, from exsequi


Financial Definition of EXECUTOR

executor

What It Is

An executor administers the distribution of an estate to beneficiaries.

How It Works

A will is a legal document that indicates how a person wants his or her estate (money and property) to be distributed after death. A will also may describe any wishes for funeral and burial arrangements and may designate guardians for minor children.

When the testator (the person who created the will) dies, the executor, who is named in the will, administers the distribution of the estate to the beneficiaries (a beneficiary is any person or organization that receives the assets after the testator's death). The executor's job also includes paying any bills and taxes owed by the estate as well as locating and protecting the assets until they are distributed. An executor often receives payment for his or her services, and the payment varies from state to state.

A testator can change a will at any time for any reason and should keep the original copy of the will in a safe place. A copy should be given to the executor.

Why It Matters

A will is central to a person's estate planning. In most cases, people create wills to protect the assets they have worked hard for and to ensure they are passed to appropriate individuals or organizations. The exector's job is to honor those wishes.

However, court procedures called probate are often required to pass assets from a testator to beneficiaries because the testator is no longer around to sign deeds and other documents necessary to transfer the assets. In probate, a judge must validate the will and then issue a court order to distribute the assets. The probate process can last from six months to two years or more and can cost from 4% to more than 9% of the gross value of the estate, depending on the laws of the testator's home state. Everything in a will becomes public record after it is probated.

Estate planning is a complex subject, and it is of particular importance to consult an estate-planning specialist when considering how to distribute assets after death.


EXECUTOR Defined for English Language Learners

executor

noun

Definition of executor for English Language Learners

  • : someone who is named in a will as the person who will make sure that the instructions in the will are properly followed


Law Dictionary

executor

noun ex·ec·u·tor \ ig-ˈze-kyə-tər \

legal Definition of executor

: a person named by a testator to execute or carry out the instructions in a will — compare administrator


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