Why am I an executrix and not an executor?

An executor is a person, appointed by the decedent’s will, who is in charge of overseeing the distribution of assets. The executor works with the Court to ensure all the paperwork is filed – they typically work closely with the attorney for the estate. When the executor or female, they are called an executrix. The definition is actually “a female executor.” There is not a gender-neutral term for a non-binary person serving in this role.

The term ‘executor’ comes from the Anglo-French “executour” to mean “a person appointed to see that a will is carried into effect.” This was derived from the Latin “executorem” which means to “carry out. “

An executor is usually named in decedents will and thereafter appointed by the Court to carryout the duties of probating the will. If there is no executor named or if the named executors/exeuctrix are unable or unwilling to serve, the Court will appoint an executor.

If there is no will then the person who oversees the distribution of assets is called the administrator. The courts do not distinguish between male and female administrators – the term is gender neutral. The function of an executor or administrator is the same, the only difference is whether or not the decedent left a will.

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