How to Sign Legal Documents as the Executor of a Will

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Being named as the executor in a last will and testament carries with it important duties and responsibilities that need to be understood and followed. An executor must sign many different types of documents including letters, probate court filings, and checks. It is critical that these documents are properly signed so that applicable state laws are followed and all fiduciary obligations the executor owes to the deceased individual's estate are fulfilled.

Locate the most recent original last will and testament of the deceased individual to ensure that the deceased individual's full wishes are carried out. There is no perfect method to determine whether you have the most recent last will and testament, but individuals commonly keep their estate planning documents all together in one of three places: a bank safe deposit box, a safe or filing cabinet in their home, or at the office of the attorney who drafted the individual's estate planning documents. When an original last will and testament cannot be located, rely upon a photocopy.

Determine what your exact title is in the last will and testament. Some documents use alternative titles to “executor,” such as “personal representative,” “personal administrator,” or “administrator.” You want your signature to match the title given to you in the last will and testament.

Sign the document in the following format: “[Legal Name], [Title] of the Estate of [Deceased Individual's Legal Name], Deceased.” For example, if your legal name is David Jones, the title in the last will and testament is “executor,” and the deceased individual's legal name was John Doe, you would sign documents as “David Jones, Executor of the Estate of John Doe, Deceased."


About the Author

Michael Scarn is a legal, automotive, fitness, business and aviation writer. He has been a professional writer since 2006. Scarn holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from Brigham Young University as well as a Master of Business Administration and a Juris Doctorate—both from the University of Nevada at Las Vegas.