Executor, the person appointed to carry into effect the directions contained in a last will and testament. By the common law of England, or rather by the law as administered in the ecclesiastical courts, an infant of the age of 17 was qualified to act as executor. Prior to that age, letters of administration were granted to some other person durante minore (state; but by statute 38 George III., c. 87, such administration must now continue until the person named as executor has reached the age of 21. A married woman cannot act as an executrix without the assent of her husband, inasmuch as he is responsible for her acts. When executors are not named in a will, or are incompetent, or refuse to act, letters of administration with the will annexed may be issued, under which the same powers may be exercised that could have been by competent executors duly appointed. An executor de son tort, as he was formerly called, i. e., one who intermeddled with the estate without having lawful authority, was liable to the extent of any assets which he might have appropriated to be sued as an executor of his own wrong, but was not entitled to institute a suit as executor.
The doctrine of executor de son tort can scarcely be said to be recognized in America, but summary remedies are given against intermeddlers. (See Will.)