The following Wills & Probate guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
An executor is the person appointed, ordinarily by the testator by their Will or codicil, to:
administer their property
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:
different executors for different parts of their estate
certain persons as executors of their property abroad and others of their property in England
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.
Before probate an executor may do all things that pertain to the executorial office. They may, for example:
pay or release a debt
get in and receive the testator’s estate
assent to a legacy
generally intermeddle with the testator’s goods
distrain for rent
grant a next presentation
release an action
make a conveyance or assignment of personalty
make a conveyance or assignment of realty
give a valid receipt for money payable on an assignment
Note: an executor cannot compel a purchaser
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