An executor is the personal representative of your estate. They are the person in charge of taking control of your assets, paying off any debts, and distributing assets to your beneficiaries per the terms and conditions of your will. You can choose anyone to be the executor of your will, but it is a good idea to choose someone who is both competent and trustworthy. The person you choose to be executor should be outlined in your will. Someone you appoint to be the executor of your will has the right to refuse, so you should have a backup executor in place just in case.
LEGAL TERMS TO KNOW
Executor - An individual appointed to administrate the estate of a deceased person. The executor's main duty is to carry out the instructions and wishes of the deceased. The executor is appointed either by the testator of the will (the individual who makes the will) or by a court, in cases where there was no prior appointment.
Executrix - A female individual who is responsible for executing the provisions set forth in a will upon the death of the testator. An executrix is nominated by the will's testator. The term is used less frequently than "executor."
Testator - a person who has written and executed a last will and testament that is in effect at the time of his/her death. It is any "person who makes a will."
Dying Intestate - means that a person has died without a will stating how his or her property (called an estate) is to be distributed.
Administrator - a legal term referring to a person appointed by a court to administer the estate of a deceased person who left no will.