A WILL is made by an individual in order to circumvent any litigation amongst his heirs in respect of the distribution of his assets after his death. The WILL surpasses the succession law on inheritance and the beneficiary of the WILL (in whose name property is bequeathed) only is entitled to receive his/her share specified in the WILL without any hindrance. Before acting upon the ‘will’ after the death of the testator (person who made a ‘will’), a letter of probate is to be obtained from a competent Court. Letter of Probate means a copy of the ‘will’ certified by the Competent Court under its seal to “prove” the validity of the last WILL and testament.
An Executor is a person named in the will of a deceased person to administer his estate after his death. The executor derives title and authority from the will for the purpose of administration of the property of the deceased. But before acting upon the will he must obtain a Probate from a competent court of law.
An Administrator is a person appointed by the Court to wind up the estate of the deceased when a person dies intestate (meaning that a person dies without leaving behind a will). The ‘Administrator’ is also appointed when the testator (the deceased) has not mentioned the name of Executor in the will or executor named in the will dies before the testator or refuses to act as Executor.
The following documents are required for opening an account of Executor or Administrator in banks.
(a) For the opening of accounts of the Executors / Administrators, the applicant has to submit a letter of probate/letter of Administration issued by a competent court of law empowering them to act as Executor or Administrator. The duties and rights of Executors and Administrators are substantially the same. They differ only in the manner of their appointment.
(b) Account Opening Form should be signed by all the Executors /Administrators if there is more than one Executor / Administrator – photographs of all Executors / Administrators have to be obtained and retained on Bank records.
(c) Cheques drawn in favour of Executor / Administrator should not be credited to the personal account of the Executor / Administrator.
(d) Executors and Administrators cannot delegate power to third parties.
(e) Bank Officer at the branch must very carefully read the contents of the Will or Letter of Administration so that the operations in the account of Executor /Administrator are allowed only as per the terms of the Will.
(f) The account should be opened in the name of the individual with the addition of the words “Executor or Administrator”
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