The concept of executor, which comes from a term of Hispanic Arabic, is used in the field of law with reference to the individual who, from the last wish of a deceased person and / or with the authorization of a judge, is in charge of the custody of the legacy of the deceased.
According to DigoPaul, the testamentary executor is one who was appointed by the deceased himself in his will. However, if the executor arises by a judicial disposition, it is spoken of dative executor.
The figure of the legitimate executor arises when the deceased has not left a will and a judge has not issued a ruling on the assets. In this case, the executor becomes one who, by right, has the competence to make the deceased’s wish come true. Reference may also be made to the universal executor: the subject with absolute power to guarantee compliance with all points of the will.
The idea of executor appears frequently in the field of literature. The literary executor decides on the legacy of a writer, especially regarding copyright. This executor can allow a novel to be adapted to the cinema or it can promote the publication of unpublished texts, to name two possibilities.
This sometimes causes a decision by the executor to conflict with the wishes of the deceased author’s family. If the executor decides to publish a manuscript that the children of the deceased do not want to come to light, this can lead to a confrontation.
To minimize the chances that the executor will make decisions that are not at the level of those that the testator would have made, it is essential that the latter prepare the will conscientiously, carefully specifying all its requirements and drafting the document with the utmost care. clarity possible. The executor must watch over his assets and manage them in such a way that his image is not distorted from the point of view of the public, and therefore no collection is exaggerated.
It is necessary to meet certain well-defined requirements to be appointed executor, among which are having reached the age of majority and being in full use of their own powers. All this without neglecting the relationship he has with the testator: it would not be normal for the testator to leave his posterity in the hands of a stranger or someone who did not love and deeply respect him.
With respect to the public and family and friends’ perception of the person they represent about their work, the executor often faces a great deal of criticism and attack for their actions. At first glance, we can say that there are two opposite attitudes that are often criticized: taking advantage of the name of the deceased to get large sums of money without any kind of tact or respect for his image; not doing enough to keep your memory alive.
Without mentioning anyone in particular, there are more examples from the first group than from the second, executors who seek every opportunity to make money at the cost of their testator’s work, whether publishing as much work as comes into their hands (regardless of its quality, if it is complete or if the author himself really wanted it to be known) or by opening legal proceedings against anyone who infringes copyright, sometimes beyond the limits of the laws themselves.
Aurora Bernárdez, to cite an example, was the executor of the renowned Argentine writer Julio Cortázar, one of the most influential figures in literature. The woman, who died in 2014, was married to the author of “Hopscotch” between 1953 and 1967.