Literally, these words mean: executor of one’s own wrong. In estate law, the phrase is used when someone who has not been authorized to administer an estate becomes involved in doing so.
Executors: The Basics Explained
Ordinarily, as a will is prepared, an executor is named to administer it. The executor has fiduciary responsibilities and must distribute assets to the beneficiaries as specified in the will. Most commonly, the executor is a family member or close friend of the deceased. Legal Beagle notes that some wills require the executor to get a bond. Essentially, executor bonds are a type of fiduciary bond—they guarantee the faithful performance of the executor in accordance with applicable state laws.
Sometimes, administering the affairs of a deceased person can become complex, even with a will in hand and an executor appointed. Probate courts play an important role in resolving conflicts and ensuring the estate is ultimately settled in accordance with the will and state laws. Legal Match explains that an “intermeddler” is generally deemed an executor de son tort if:
They assert ownership over some portion of the deceased’s estate (such as by taking property or canceling investments); and Their actions are unlawful (e.g., they do not have the authority to do such actions).
However, some jurisdictions hold that unauthorized acts done out of charity and goodwill for the deceased will not convert a person into an executor de son tort. Rather, it must be proven that the person demonstrated some sort of unlawful or overall negative intent in acting without proper authority.
Usually, it is the decisions made by the “rightful executors” that prevail in probate court. In the event of a continuing conflict, one legal remedy is an injunction. This is a court order requiring the executor de son tort to refrain from action.
When Courts Require Bonds
During the probate process, it is not uncommon for the court to require a fiduciary bond, such as an executor bond.
It is easy to obtain an executor bond from leading, national provider, Colonial Surety Company. Uniquely, Colonial offers direct, digital, executor bonds, which are sometimes also referred to as the administrator, estate, fiduciary, personal representative or probate bonds. Colonial provides all of these.
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