An executor is the person named in a will to act as someone's personal representative when he passes away to settle his financial affairs. Whenever estate business involves writing or accepting a check, the executor is the person authorized to sign or endorse it. Signing as executor is pretty straightforward, but there are some procedures to follow.
Executors and Estate Checking Transactions
A probate court authorizes the executor named in a deceased person's will to act as legal representative by issuing a letter testamentary. If no executor is named or there is no will, the court appoints an administrator to act in the same capacity. Once the letter testamentary is issued, the executor can write checks to pay the decedent's debts and taxes and deposit checks when assets of the estate are sold or money owed the deceased is paid. Typically, the executor opens an account in the name of the estate to handle these matters. Checks are written on the estate account or deposited into it by the executor. The American Bar Association says an executor should sign or endorse checks using this format, "Jane Doe, Executor of the Estate of John smith, deceased."