Powers of an Executor of Will
Powers of an Executor of Will
The powers of an executor who administrates a will are varied and range from taking legal action, actual disposal of the property and the related maintenance of the property, etc. In this article, we review the powers and legal provisions related to the duties of the Executor of a will.
Take Legal Action
An executor/ administrator has the power to sue or take legal action for all causes of action that survive the deceased, and may exercise the same power for the reason of recovery of debts as the deceased has when living. The Executor’s powers are inclusive of all demands as well as all rights that exist to prosecute or defend any action or in the case of special proceeding existing in favour of or against a person at the time of his decease, survive to and against his executors or administrators except in the causes of action for defamation, assault, as that is defined in the Indian Penal Code or other personal injuries not leading to the death of the party.
To Dispose of Property
An executor or administrator has the power to dispose the property of the deceased under the terms of section 211, in such manner as he may consider fit. However in certain cases of the candidate being HMBSJ, i.e. Hindu, Muhammadan (Muslim), Buddhist, Sikh and Jain, this power shall be subject to some restrictions and conditions, including that without the prior permission of the Court by which the LOA (Letters of administration) were granted, an administrator may not mortgage, charge or transfer by gift, sale, exchange or else any immovable property for the time being that is vested in him under section 211, or lease of any such property for a term over five years.
Management of Property
An executor or administrator may, in addition to any other powers of expenditure legally exercisable by him bear expenditure on such acts necessary for the proper care or management of any property that is belonging to an estate administered by him. He may do so with the permission of the High Court, on such religious, charitable and other objects, and on such improvements, for which reasonable and proper care for such property is considered.
Duties of an Executor
The following are the duties of an Executor of will:
- An executor/ administrator within six months from the grant LOA (Letters of administration). Further, within such time Court grants, the probate or LOA may appoint and exhibit in that Court an inventory which contains a full and true estimate of all the property in possession, and all the credit. Also, all the debts owed by any person to which the executor administrator entitle in that character.
- The Executor shall in like manner, within one year from the grantor within such further time as the said Court may appoint, exhibit an account of the estate, demonstrating the assets which have come to his hands and how they have been applied or disposed of.
Commission & Charges
Under the Administrator-General’s Act, 1913, an executor or administrator ensures not to receive or retain any commission or agency charges at a rate higher than the rate fixed with reference to the Administrator-General.