H. Qualification
of Personal

"Personal representative" is the statutory term for an executor or an administrator. A male individual or a corporation named in a Will to administer an estate is referred to as an "executor" (plural "executors"); a female is referred to as an "executrix" (plural "executrices"). A male decedent who leaves a Will is called a "testator"; a female is referred to as a "testatrix." A male or a corporation which is appointed to administer the estate of a person who dies without a Will is called an "administrator" (plural "administrators"); a female is called an "administratrix" (plural "administratrices"). When the personal representatives are of mixed gender, "executors" or "administrators" is used. The feminine suffix is not as common in modern usage, and for convenience, the terms "executor," "testator" and "administrator" will be used in this Manual.

To qualify as an executor or administrator, an individual named or who is entitled by statute to serve must be at least 18 years of age and not under any other legal disability.

If a corporation is named as executor or is nominated to be administrator, it must be qualified under the Pennsylvania Banking Code to act as a fiduciary in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and it must have obtained the approval of the Orphans' Court to serve as a corporate fiduciary in accordance with Orphans' Court Rules. A list of corporate fiduciaries which are or have been approved in the past appears in Appendix C. Consult the Clerk of the Orphans' Court for the current status of a particular corporate fiduciary.

The title "Register" is used to denote the Register of Wills, deputies, and others who act under the authority of the Register of Wills. The title "probate clerk" refers to a person who acts under the authority of the Register of Wills. The Orphans' Court Division of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County will be referred to as the "Orphans' Court."


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