Definition– an executor/executrix is a person or institution appointed by a testator to carry out the terms of their will. Executrix is the formal word for when the person who is appointed is a female
What It Really Means
An executor is the person that has been appointed by the decedent to make sure that the terms of the will are carried out. The executor is the person who follows the rules within the will, pays off all debts and taxes remaining of the decedent, and makes sure that all distributions are made in accordance with the decedent’s wishes.
Bob has died, leaving a will that names Marie as the executor. Marie will be called the executor of the estate. It is her job to make sure that all remaining debts and taxes are paid off that were owed by Bob. So long as there are remaining assets, Marie would then make sure that any/all distributions are made to the persons identified in the will.
Definition– a personal representative is the executor or administrator for the estate of a deceased person. A personal representative serves as a fiduciary of the beneficiaries of estates, and have the duty to act in good faith, with honestly, loyalty, candor, and in the best interests of the estate’s beneficiaries. A personal representative will follow the terms of the deceased person’s will, if one is in existence.
What It Really Means
A personal representative is another word used to describe an executor. A personal representative is the main face of a probate administration, who deals with making sure debts are settled, and any remaining assets are distributed as the decedent wished.
Bob has died, leaving a will that names Marie as the personal representative. It is her job to make sure that all remaining debts and taxes are paid off that were owed by Bob. So long as there are remaining assets, Marie would then make sure that any/all distributions are made to the persons identified in the will.
Bottom Line, they are all different words for the same thing, the person who handles the affairs of the Estate.