Executor's and administrator's authority prior to the grant
Executor's and administrator's authority prior to the grant

The following Wills & Probate guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Executor's and administrator's authority prior to the grant
  • Executors
  • Administrators
  • Deceased as trustee
  • Executor de son tort

Executors

General

An executor is the person appointed, ordinarily by the testator by their Will or codicil, to:

  1. administer their property

  2. carry into effect the provisions of the Will

The office of executor derives from the testator’s Will. The grant of probate confirms the executor’s authority to act.

Note: in practice an executor can only prove their entitlement by taking a grant.

The testator’s property vests in the executor from the date of death without any interval of time.

A testator may also appoint:

  1. different executors for different parts of their estate

  2. certain persons as executors of their property abroad and others of their property in England

  3. separate executors of real estate

Note: the High Court may grant probate or administration in respect of any part of the estate of a deceased person limited in any way it thinks fit.

Acts done before probate

Before probate an executor may do all things that pertain to the executorial office. They may, for example:

  1. pay or release a debt

  2. get in and receive the testator’s estate

  3. assent to a legacy

  4. generally intermeddle with the testator’s goods

  5. distrain for rent

  6. grant a next presentation

  7. release an action

  8. make a conveyance or assignment of personalty

  9. make a conveyance or assignment of realty

  10. give a valid receipt for money payable on an assignment

Note: an executor cannot compel a purchaser