John Simon, 1st Viscount Simon
John Allsebrook Simon, 1st Viscount Simon, was a British politician who held senior Cabinet posts from the beginning of the First World War to the end of the Second. He is one of only three people to have served as Home Secretary, Foreign Secretary and Chancellor of the Exchequer, the others being Rab Butler and James Callaghan, he served as Lord Chancellor, the most senior position in the British legal system. Beginning his career as a Liberal, he joined the National Government in 1931, creating the Liberal National Party in the process. At the end of his career he was a Conservative. Simon was born in a terraced house on Moss Side, the eldest child and only son of Edwin Simon and Fanny Allsebrook, his father was a Congregationalist minister like three of his five brothers and was pastor of Zion Chapel in Hulme District, Manchester. Congregational Ministers were expected to move about the country. Simon was educated at King Edward's School, Bath, as his father was President of Somerset Congregational Union.
He was a scholar of Fettes College in Edinburgh where he was Head of School and won many prizes. He failed to win a scholarship to Balliol College, but won an open scholarship to Wadham College, Oxford, he arrived at Wadham in 1892. He achieved Seconds in Classical Moderations, he campaigned for Herbert Samuel for South Oxfordshire in the 1895 election and after two terms as Junior Treasurer became President of the Oxford Union in Hilary Term 1896, Simon won the Barstow Law Scholarship and graduated with a first in Greats in 1896. Simon's attendance at Wadham overlapped with those of F. E. Smith, the cricketer C. B. Fry and the journalist F. W. Hirst. Smith and Simon played in the Wadham Rugby XV together. Simon and Smith began a rivalry which lasted throughout their legal and political careers over the next thirty years. Simon was, in David Dutton's view, a finer scholar than Smith. Smith thought Simon pompous, while Simon, in the words of a contemporary, thought Smith excelled at "the cheap score".
A famous – although untrue – malicious story had it that F. E. Smith and Simon had tossed a coin to decide which party to join. Simon was a trainee leader writer for the Manchester Guardian under C. P. Scott. Simon shared lodgings with Leo Amery whilst both were studying for the All Souls Fellowship, he became a Fellow of All Souls in 1897. Simon left Oxford at the end of 1898 and was called to the bar at the Inner Temple in 1899, he was a pupil of A. J. Ram and of Sir Reginald Acland. Like many barristers, his career got off to a slow start: he earned a mere £27 in his first year at the Bar. At first he earned some extra money by coaching candidates for the Bar exams; as a barrister he relied on logic and reason rather than oratory and histrionics, excelled at simplifying complex issues. He was a brilliant advocate of complex cases before judges; some of his work was done on the Western Circuit at Bristol. He worked exceptionally hard preparing his cases through the night several nights a week, his initial lack of connections made his eventual success at the Bar all the more impressive.
Simon took solace in his work. He became a successful lawyer and in 1903 he acted for the British Government in the Alaska boundary dispute. Three years after his wife's death, he spent Christmas Day 1905 alone, walking aimlessly in France. Simon entered the House of Commons as a Liberal Member of Parliament for Walthamstow at the January 1906 general election. In 1908 he became a KC. Simon and F. E. Smith became KCs simultaneously. Simon annoyed Smith by not telling his rival in advance. In 1909 Simon spoke out in Parliament in support of David Lloyd George's progressive "People's Budget", he entered the Government on 7 October 1910 as Solicitor-General, succeeding Rufus Isaacs, was knighted that month as was usual for Government law officers at the time. At 37 he was the youngest solicitor-general since the 1830s. In February 1911 he prosecuted Edward Mylius for criminal libel for claiming that King George V was a bigamist; as required by the law at the time, he fought a by-election on appointment as Solicitor-General.
He was honoured with the KCVO in 1911. Asquith referred to him as "the Impeccable" for his intellectual self-assurance, although after a series of social encounters, he wrote that "The Impeccable" was becoming "The Inevitable". Along with Rufus Isaacs, Simon represented the Board of Trade at the public inquiry into the sinking of the RMS Titanic in 1912. Unusually for a government law officer, he was active in partisan political debate; when F. E. Smith first spoke from the Conservative front bench in 1912, Simon was put up next to oppose his old rival, he was promoted on 19 October 1913 to Attorney-General, again succeeding Isaacs. Unusually for an Attorney-General, he was made a full member of Cabinet rather than being invited to attend as required, he was being tipped as a potential future Liberal Prime Minister. He was the leader of the Cabinet rebels against Winston Churchill's 1914 naval estimates. Asquith thought Simon had organised "a conclave of malcontents", he wrote to Asquith that the "loss of WC, though regrettable, is not b
A contract is a legally-binding agreement which recognises and governs the rights and duties of the parties to the agreement. A contract is enforceable because it meets the requirements and approval of the law. An agreement involves the exchange of goods, money, or promises of any of those. In the event of breach of contract, the law awards the injured party access to legal remedies such as damages and cancellation. In the Anglo-American common law, formation of a contract requires an offer, consideration, a mutual intent to be bound; each party must have capacity to enter the contract. Although most oral contracts are binding, some types of contracts may require formalities such as being in writing or by deed. In the civil law tradition, contract law is a branch of the law of obligations. At common law, the elements of a contract are offer, intention to create legal relations and legality of both form and content. Not all agreements are contractual, as the parties must be deemed to have an intention to be bound.
A so-called gentlemen's agreement is one, not intended to be enforceable, "binding in honour only". In order for a contract to be formed, the parties must reach mutual assent; this is reached through offer and an acceptance which does not vary the offer's terms, known as the "mirror image rule". An offer is a definite statement of the offeror's willingness to be bound should certain conditions be met. If a purported acceptance does vary the terms of an offer, it is not an acceptance but a counteroffer and, therefore a rejection of the original offer; the Uniform Commercial Code disposes of the mirror image rule in §2-207, although the UCC only governs transactions in goods in the USA. As a court cannot read minds, the intent of the parties is interpreted objectively from the perspective of a reasonable person, as determined in the early English case of Smith v Hughes, it is important to note that where an offer specifies a particular mode of acceptance, only an acceptance communicated via that method will be valid.
Contracts may be unilateral. A bilateral contract is an agreement in which each of the parties to the contract makes a promise or set of promises to each other. For example, in a contract for the sale of a home, the buyer promises to pay the seller $200,000 in exchange for the seller's promise to deliver title to the property; these common contracts take place in the daily flow of commerce transactions, in cases with sophisticated or expensive precedent requirements, which are requirements that must be met for the contract to be fulfilled. Less common are unilateral contracts in which one party makes a promise, but the other side does not promise anything. In these cases, those accepting the offer are not required to communicate their acceptance to the offeror. In a reward contract, for example, a person who has lost a dog could promise a reward if the dog is found, through publication or orally; the payment could be additionally conditioned on the dog being returned alive. Those who learn of the reward are not required to search for the dog, but if someone finds the dog and delivers it, the promisor is required to pay.
In the similar case of advertisements of deals or bargains, a general rule is that these are not contractual offers but an "invitation to treat", but the applicability of this rule is disputed and contains various exceptions. The High Court of Australia stated that the term unilateral contract is "unscientific and misleading". In certain circumstances, an implied contract may be created. A contract is implied in fact if the circumstances imply that parties have reached an agreement though they have not done so expressly. For example, John Smith, a former lawyer may implicitly enter a contract by visiting a doctor and being examined. A contract, implied in law is called a quasi-contract, because it is not in fact a contract. Quantum meruit claims are an example. Where something is advertised in a newspaper or on a poster, the advertisement will not constitute an offer but will instead be an invitation to treat, an indication that one or both parties are prepared to negotiate a deal. An exception arises if the advertisement makes a unilateral promise, such as the offer of a reward, as in the famous case of Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Co, decided in nineteenth-century England.
The company, a pharmaceutical manufacturer, advertised a smoke ball that would, if sniffed "three times daily for two weeks", prevent users from catching the'flu. If the smoke ball failed to prevent'flu, the company promised that they would pay the user £100, adding that they had "deposited £1,000 in the Alliance Bank to show our sincerity in the matter"; when Mrs Carlill sued for the money, the company argued the advert should not be taken as a serious binding offer. Although an invitation to treat cannot be accepted, it should not be ignored, for it may affect the offer. For instance, where an offer is made in response to an invitation to treat, the offer may incorporate the terms of the invitation to treat. If, as in the Boots case, the offer is made by an action without any
The Lord Chancellor, formally the Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, is the highest ranking among those Great Officers of State which are appointed in the United Kingdom, nominally outranking the Prime Minister. The Lord Chancellor is outranked only by the Lord High Steward, another Great Officer of State, appointed only for the day of coronations; the Lord Chancellor is appointed by the Sovereign on the advice of the Prime Minister. Prior to the Union there were separate Lord Chancellors for England and Wales, for Scotland and for Ireland; the Lord Chancellor is a member of the Cabinet and, by law, is responsible for the efficient functioning and independence of the courts. In 2007, there were a number of changes to the legal system and to the office of the Lord Chancellor; the Lord Chancellor was the presiding officer of the House of Lords, the head of the judiciary in England and Wales and the presiding judge of the Chancery Division of the High Court of Justice, but the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 transferred these roles to the Lord Speaker, the Lord Chief Justice and the Chancellor of the High Court respectively.
The current Lord Chancellor is David Gauke, Secretary of State for Justice. One of the Lord Chancellor's responsibilities is to act as the custodian of the Great Seal of the Realm, kept in the Lord Chancellor's Purse. A Lord Keeper of the Great Seal may be appointed instead of a Lord Chancellor; the two offices entail the same duties. Furthermore, the office of Lord Chancellor may be exercised by a committee of individuals known as Lords Commissioners of the Great Seal when there is a delay between an outgoing Chancellor and their replacement; the seal is said to be "in commission". Since the 19th century, only Lord Chancellors have been appointed, the other offices having fallen into disuse; the office of Lord Chancellor of England may trace its origins to the Carolingian monarchy, in which a Chancellor acted as the keeper of the royal seal. In England, the office dates at least as far back as the Norman Conquest, earlier; some give the first Chancellor of England as Angmendus, in 605. Other sources suggest that the first to appoint a Chancellor was Edward the Confessor, said to have adopted the practice of sealing documents instead of signing them.
A clerk of Edward's, was named "chancellor" in some documents from Edward's reign. In any event, the office has been continuously occupied since the Norman Conquest; the staff of the growing office became separate from the king's household under Henry III and in the 14th century located in Chancery Lane. The chancellor headed chancery; the Lord Chancellor was always a churchman, as during the Middle Ages the clergy were amongst the few literate men of the realm. The Lord Chancellor performed multiple functions—he was the Keeper of the Great Seal, the chief royal chaplain, adviser in both spiritual and temporal matters. Thus, the position emerged as one of the most important ones in government, he was only outranked in government by the Justiciar. As one of the King's ministers, the Lord Chancellor attended Royal Court. If a bishop, the Lord Chancellor received a writ of summons; the curia regis would evolve into Parliament, the Lord Chancellor becoming the prolocutor of its upper house, the House of Lords.
As was confirmed by a statute passed during the reign of Henry VIII, a Lord Chancellor could preside over the House of Lords if not a Lord himself. The Lord Chancellor's judicial duties evolved through his role in the curia regis. Petitions for justice were addressed to the King and the curia, but in 1280, Edward I instructed his justices to examine and deal with petitions themselves as the Court of King's Bench. Important petitions were to be sent to the Lord Chancellor for his decision. By the reign of Edward III, this chancellery function developed into a separate tribunal for the Lord Chancellor. In this body, which became known as the High Court of Chancery, the Lord Chancellor would determine cases according to fairness instead of according to the strict principles of common law; the Lord Chancellor became known as the "Keeper of the King's Conscience." Churchmen continued to dominate the Chancellorship until the 16th century. In 1529, after Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, Lord Chancellor and Archbishop of York, was dismissed for failing to procure the annulment of Henry VIII's first marriage, laymen tended to be more favoured for appointment to the office.
Ecclesiastics made a brief return during the reign of Mary I, but thereafter all Lord Chancellors have been laymen. Anthony Ashley Cooper, 1st Earl of Shaftesbury was the last Lord Chancellor, not a lawyer, until the appointment of Chris Grayling in 2012; the three subsequent holders of the position, Michael Gove, Elizabeth Truss and David Lidington are not lawyers. However, the appointment of David Gauke in January 2018 meant that once again the Lord Chancellor was a lawyer; when the office was held by ecclesiastics, a "Keeper of the Great Seal" acted in the Lord Chancellor's absence. Keepers were appointed when the office of Lord Chancellor fell vacant, discharged the duties of the office until an appropriate replacement could be found; when Elizabeth I became queen, Parliament passed an Act providing that a Lord Keeper of the Great Seal would be entitled to "like place, pre-eminence, juri
Sir Edward Coke was an English barrister and politician, considered to be the greatest jurist of the Elizabethan and Jacobean eras. Born into an upper-class family, Coke was educated at Trinity College, before leaving to study at the Inner Temple, where he was called to the Bar on 20 April 1578; as a barrister he took part in several notable cases, including Slade's Case, before earning enough political favour to be elected to Parliament, where he served first as Solicitor General and as Speaker of the House of Commons. Following a promotion to Attorney General he led the prosecution in several notable cases, including those against Robert Devereux, Sir Walter Raleigh, the Gunpowder Plot conspirators; as a reward for his services he was first knighted and made Chief Justice of the Common Pleas. As Chief Justice, Coke restricted the use of the ex officio oath and, in the Case of Proclamations and Dr. Bonham's Case, declared the King to be subject to the law, the laws of Parliament to be void if in violation of "common right and reason".
These actions led to his transfer to the Chief Justiceship of the King's Bench, where it was felt he could do less damage. Coke successively restricted the definition of treason and declared a royal letter illegal, leading to his dismissal from the bench on 14 November 1616. With no chance of regaining his judicial posts, he instead returned to Parliament, where he swiftly became a leading member of the opposition. During his time as a Member of Parliament he wrote and campaigned for the Statute of Monopolies, which restricted the ability of the monarch to grant patents, authored and was instrumental in the passage of the Petition of Right, a document considered one of the three crucial constitutional documents of England, along with Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights 1689. Coke is best known in modern times for his Institutes, described by John Rutledge as "almost the foundations of our law", his Reports, which have been called "perhaps the single most influential series of named reports".
He was a influential judge. In America, Coke's decision in Dr. Bonham's Case was used to justify the voiding of both the Stamp Act 1765 and writs of assistance, which led to the American War of Independence; the surname "Coke", or "Cocke", can be traced back to a William Coke in the hundred of South Greenhoe, now the Norfolk town of Swaffham, in around 1150. The family was prosperous and influential – members from the 14th century onwards included an Under-Sheriff, a Knight Banneret, a barrister and a merchant; the name "Coke" was pronounced during the Elizabethan age. The origins of the name are uncertain. Another hypothesis is that it was an attempt to disguise the word "cook". Coke's father, Robert Coke, was a barrister and Bencher of Lincoln's Inn who built up a strong practice representing clients from his home area of Norfolk. Over time, he bought several manors at Congham, West Acre and Happisburgh, all in Norfolk, was granted a coat of arms, becoming a minor member of the gentry. Coke's mother, Winifred Knightley, came from a family more intimately linked with the law than her husband.
Her father and grandfather had practised law in the Norfolk area, her sister Audrey was married to Thomas Gawdy, a lawyer and Justice of the Court of King's Bench with links to the Earl of Arundel. This connection served Edward well. Winifred's father married Agnes, the sister of Nicholas Hare. Edward Coke was born on 1 February 1552 in one of eight children; the other seven were daughters – Winifred, Elizabeth, Anna and Ethelreda – although it is not known in which order the children were born. Two years after Robert Coke died on 15 November 1561, his widow married Robert Bozoun, a property trader noted for his piety and strong business acumen, he had a tremendous influence on the Coke children: from Bozoun Coke learnt to "loathe concealers, prefer godly men and briskly do business with any willing client", something that shaped his future conduct as a lawyer and judge. At the age of eight in 1560, Coke began studying at the Norwich Free Grammar School; the education there was based on erudition, the eventual goal being that by the age of 18 the students would have learned "to vary one sentence diversely, to make a verse to endight an epistle eloquently and learnedly, to declaim of a theme simple, last of all to attain some competent knowledge of the Greek tongue".
The students were taught rhetoric based on the Rhetorica ad Herennium, Greek centred on the works of Homer and Virgil. Coke was taught at Norwich to value the "forcefulness of freedom of speech", something he applied as a judge; some accounts relate. After leaving Norwich in 1567 he matriculated to Trinity College, where he studied for three years until the end of 1570, when he left without gaining a degree. Little is known of his time at Trinity, though he studied rhetoric and dialectics under a
In law, fraud is intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain, or to deprive a victim of a legal right. Fraud can violate civil law, a criminal law, or it may cause no loss of money, property or legal right but still be an element of another civil or criminal wrong; the purpose of fraud may be monetary gain or other benefits, such as obtaining a passport or travel document, driver's license. Examples include mortgage fraud, where the perpetrator may attempt to qualify for a mortgage by way of false statements. A hoax is a distinct concept that involves deliberate deception without the intention of gain or of materially damaging or depriving a victim. In common law jurisdictions, as a civil wrong, fraud is a tort. While the precise definitions and requirements of proof vary among jurisdictions, the requisite elements of fraud as a tort are the intentional misrepresentation or concealment of an important fact upon which the victim is meant to rely, in fact does rely, to the harm of the victim.
Proving fraud in a court of law is said to be difficult. That difficulty is found, for instance, in that each and every one of the elements of fraud must be proven, that the elements include proving the states of mind of the perpetrator and the victim, that some jurisdictions require the victim to prove fraud by clear and convincing evidence; the remedies for fraud may include rescission of a fraudulently obtained agreement or transaction, the recovery of a monetary award to compensate for the harm caused, punitive damages to punish or deter the misconduct, others. In cases of a fraudulently induced contract, fraud may serve as a defense in a civil action for breach of contract or specific performance of contract. Fraud may serve as a basis for a court to invoke its equitable jurisdiction. In common law jurisdictions, as a criminal offence, fraud takes many different forms, some general and some specific to particular categories of victims or misconduct; the elements of fraud as a crime vary.
The requisite elements of the most general form of criminal fraud, theft by false pretense, are the intentional deception of a victim by false representation or pretense with the intent of persuading the victim to part with property and with the victim parting with property in reliance on the representation or pretense and with the perpetrator intending to keep the property from the victim. Section 380 of the Criminal Code provides the general definition for fraud in Canada: 380; every one who, by deceit, falsehood or other fraudulent means, whether or not it is a false pretence within the meaning of this Act, defrauds the public or any person, whether ascertained or not, of any property, money or valuable security or any service, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to a term of imprisonment not exceeding fourteen years, where the subject-matter of the offence is a testamentary instrument or the value of the subject-matter of the offence exceeds five thousand dollars. In addition to the penalties outlined above, the court can issue a prohibition order under s. 380.2.
It can make a restitution order under s. 380.3. The Canadian courts have held that the offence consists of two distinct elements: A prohibited act of deceit, falsehood or other fraudulent means. In the absence of deceit or falsehood, the courts will look objectively for a "dishonest act"; the Supreme Court of Canada has held that deprivation is satisfied on proof of detriment, prejudice or risk of prejudice. Deprivation of confidential information, in the nature of a trade secret or copyrighted material that has commercial value, has been held to fall within the scope of the offence; the proof requirements for criminal fraud charges in the United States are the same as the requirements for other crimes: guilt must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. Throughout the United States fraud charges can be misdemeanors or felonies depending on the amount of loss involved. High value frauds can include additional penalties. For example, in California losses of $500,000 or more will result in an extra two, three, or five years in prison in addition to the regular penalty for the fraud.
The U. S. government's 2006 fraud review concluded that fraud is a under-reported crime, while various agencies and organizations were attempting to tackle the issue, greater co-operation was needed to achieve a real impact in the public sector. The scale of the problem pointed to the need for a small but high-powered body to bring together the numerous counter-fraud initiatives that existed. Although elements may vary by jurisdiction and the specific allegations made by a plaintiff who files a lawsuit that alleged fraud, typical elements of a fraud case in the United States are that: Somebody misrepresents a material fact in order to obtain action or forbearance by another person.
Court of King's Bench (England)
The Court of King's Bench, formally known as The Court of the King Before the King Himself, was an English court of common law in the English legal system. Created in the late 12th to early 13th century from the curia regis following the monarch on his travels, the King's Bench joined the Court of Common Pleas and Exchequer of Pleas in Westminster Hall in 1318, making its last travels in 1421; as one of the two principal common law courts along with the Common Pleas, the King's Bench's jurisdiction and caseload was challenged by the rise of the Court of Chancery and equitable doctrines in the 15th and 16th centuries. To recover, the King's Bench undertook a scheme of revolutionary reform, creating less expensive and more versatile types of pleading in the form of bills as opposed to the more traditional writs. Although not stemming the tide, in the long term it helped the King's Bench not only recover but increase its workload. While there was a steep decline in business from 1460 to 1540, as the new reforms began to take effect the King's Bench's business was boosted.
While good for the King's Bench, the Common Pleas became suspicious of the new developments, as legal fictions such as the Bill of Middlesex damaged its own business. Fighting against the King's Bench in a reactionary and conservative way, an equilibrium was reached in the 17th century. Reaching an acceptable medium with the Common Pleas and Exchequer of Pleas proved to be the downfall of all three courts; the King's Bench thus ceased to exist, except as the King's Bench Division of the High Court. During its existence the King's Bench's jurisdiction covered a wide range of criminal matters, something reduced on, along with any business not claimed by the other courts, any cases which concerned the monarch, it acted as a court of appeal for the Exchequer of Pleas and Common Pleas, although it was not a court of last resort and required Parliament to sign off on its decisions. The creation of the Court of Exchequer Chamber in 1585 created a court from which King's Bench decisions could be appealed to, with the expansion of the Exchequer Chamber's jurisdiction in 1830 the King's Bench ceased to be an appellate court.
Thanks to the Bill of Westminster and other legal fictions, the King's Bench gained much of the Common Pleas's jurisdiction, although the Common Pleas remained the sole place where real property claims could be brought. The King's Bench was staffed by one Chief Justice, now the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, a variable number of Puisne Justices; those who chose not to retire became Justices of the High Court on the King's Bench's dissolution. The sole "court" was the curia regis, one of the three central administrative bodies along with the Exchequer and Chancery, from which the Court of Chancery formed; this curia was the King's court, composed of those advisers and courtiers who followed the King as he travelled around the country. This was not a dedicated court of law, instead a descendant of the witenagemot. In concert with the curia regis, eyre circuits staffed by itinerant judges dispensed justice throughout the country, operating on fixed paths at certain times; these judges were members of the curia, would hear cases on the King's behalf in the "lesser curia regis".
Because the curia travelled with the King, it caused problems with the dispensation of justice. To remedy this a central "bench" was established, with the Court of Common Pleas split from the Exchequer of Pleas, receiving official recognition in Magna Carta so that common pleas could be heard in "some fixed place". There were thus two common law courts; the curia became known as the King's Bench, with the King himself required for the court to sit. There is some controversy over whether the original fixed court was the Common Pleas or King's Bench. In 1178, a chronicler recorded that when Henry II: learned that the land and the men of the land were burdened by so great a number of justices, for there were, chose with the counsel of the wise men of his Kingdom five only, two clerks three and laymen, all of his private family, decreed that these five should hear all complaints of the Kingdom and should do right and should not depart from the king's court but should remain there to hear the complaints of men, with this understanding that, if there should come up among them any question which could not be brought to a conclusion by them, it should be presented to a royal hearing and be determined by the king and the wiser men of the kingdom".
This was interpreted as the foundation of the King's Bench, with the Court of Common Pleas not coming into existence until the signing of the Magna Carta. The theory was that Henry II's decree created the Court of Common Pleas, not the King's Bench, that the King's Bench instead split from the Common Pleas at some time; the first records of an independent King's Bench come from 1234, when distinct plea rolls are found for each court. Modern academics give 1234 as the founding date for the King's Bench as a independent tribunal, considering it part of the law r
An executor is someone, responsible for executing, or following through on, an assigned task or duty. The feminine form, may sometimes be used; the role of an executor should not be confused with that of an executioner, a person who carries out a death sentence ordered by a government or other legal authority. An executor is a legal term referring to a person named by the maker of a will or nominated by the testator to carry out the instructions of the will; the executor is the person responsible for offering the will for probate, although it is not required that they fulfill this. The executor's duties include disbursing property to the beneficiaries as designated in the will, obtaining information of potential heirs and arranging for payment of debts of the estate and approving or disapproving creditors' claims. An executor will make sure estate taxes are calculated, necessary forms are filed, tax payments are made, they will assist the attorney with the estate. Additionally, the executor acts as a legal conveyor who designates where the donations will be sent using the information left in bequests, whether they be sent to charity or other organizations.
In most circumstances, the executor is the representative of the estate for all purposes, has the ability to sue or be sued on behalf of the estate. The executor holds legal title to the estate property, but may not use the title or property for their own benefit, unless permitted by the terms of the will. A person who deals with a deceased person's property without proper authority is known as an executor de son tort; such a person's actions may subsequently be ratified by the lawful executors or administrators if the actions do not contradict the substantive provisions of the deceased's will or the rights of heirs at law. When there is no will, a person is said to have died intestate—"without testimony." As a result, there is no tangible "testimony" to follow, hence there can be no executor. If there is no will or the executors named in a will do not wish to act, an administrator of the deceased's estate may instead be appointed; the generic term for executors or administrators is personal representative.
In England and Wales, when a person dies intestate in a nursing home, has no family members who can be traced, those responsible for their care automatically become their executors. Under Scottish law, a personal representative of any kind is referred to as an executor, using executor nominate to refer to an executor and executor dative to an administrator. In some countries, such as the United States, an executor is automatically entitled to compensation for his or her services, although this amount varies by jurisdiction. Unless set by the will, this compensation is determined by what is considered ″reasonable″ for the effort involved, although in a number of jurisdictions, the amount is instead set as a percentage of the overall estate. For example, in California the executor is entitled to 4% of the first $100K of estate value, 3% of the next $100K, so on. In other countries, such as the United Kingdom, the executor is not automatically entitled to compensation, although compensation can be directed within the will or on application to a court.
In recent years, custom "executors' insurance" policies. These are available in countries including Canada and Wales, they are taken up by non-professional executors—typically friends or family of the deceased—who may be worried about making an error during the probate process and/or uncomfortable about exposing themselves to unlimited personal financial and legal liability. Many find such cover an attractive proposition as the vast majority of wills allow reasonable expenses, such as the cost of the policy, to be reclaimed from the deceased's estate. Digital estate Estate Executorial trustee Inheritance Literary executor Executor of a will duties - A list of duties for a Will Executor Executor Guide - Interactive guide for a Will Executor Canadian legislation and regulation governing executors of estates. Via CanLII