executor

noun
ex·​ec·​u·​tor | \ ig-ˈze-k(y)ə-tər How to pronounce executor (audio) or in sense 1 ˈek-sə-ˌkyü- How to pronounce executor (audio) \

Definition of executor

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

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Other Words from executor

executorial \ ig-​ˌze-​k(y)ə-​ˈtȯr-​ē-​əl How to pronounce executorial (audio) \ adjective

Examples of executor in a Sentence

He named his daughter as his executor.

Recent Examples on the Web

Because the estate cost over half a million dollars a year in maintenance and taxes, Elvis's former wife Priscilla Presley and the executors (following Vernon's death) planned to open Graceland to the public. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Everything You Need to Know About Graceland, Home of Elvis Presley," 14 Mar. 2019 One of her nieces accepted the role of executor, according to the Associated Press. Travis M. Andrews, The Seattle Times, "Aretha Franklin died without a will, leaving her estate’s future uncertain," 3 Sep. 2018 The executors of his estate were his father and his brother Donald. Susanne Craig, The Seattle Times, "Trump engaged in suspect tax schemes as he reaped riches from father," 2 Oct. 2018 And be sure the executor doesn't have a vested interest. Barry M. Fish & Les Kotzer, Good Housekeeping, "Everything You Need to Know About Creating a Will," 7 Dec. 2010 But Elliott attended Franklin’s funeral earlier this year at the invitation of Sabrina Owens, Franklin’s niece and the executor of her estate, and the two began talking about the film. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "It took 46 years for Aretha Franklin’s concert doc to come out. The wait was worth it.," 15 Nov. 2018 Checks and balances In most cases, experts recommend naming two or more executors to make sure that the deceased’s property is collected properly and distributed appropriately. Cheryl Winokur Munk, WSJ, "The Key to Protecting Your Assets—After Your Death," 21 Oct. 2018 Fifteen months later, Fred Trump’s executors — Donald, Maryanne and Robert — filed his estate tax return. Susanne Craig, The Seattle Times, "Trump engaged in suspect tax schemes as he reaped riches from father," 2 Oct. 2018 Miuccia Prada, real-life executor of the jolie-laide look, buys the show. Hermione Hoby, New York Times, "Mining the Madness of Pure Logic in Stories That Dazzle and Discomfit," 1 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of executor

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for executor

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

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Statistics for executor

Last Updated

20 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for executor

The first known use of executor was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for executor

executor

noun

Financial Definition of 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.

Source: Investing Answers

executor

noun

English Language Learners Definition of executor

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

executor

noun
ex·​ec·​u·​tor | \ ig-ˈze-kyə-tər How to pronounce executor (audio) \

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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