- The term “executor” refers to the fiduciary who acts for a probate estate, as opposed to the term “trustee” who is the fiduciary who acts for a trust. Executors are appointed and supervised by courts, while trustees typically act without court supervision.
- The executor begins by filing a petition for probate with the local probate court. Beneficiaries and the decedent’s family receive copies of the will when the probate action is filed. There typically is no formal “will reading” (like we see in the movies!), but the executor will often meet with family members to discuss the will and answer their questions.
- The executor only has authority to act once the court issues an order appointing him or her to act. A bond may be required. More than one executor may be appointed.
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