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Executory refers to something (generally a contract) that has not yet been fully performed or completed and is therefore considered imperfect or unassured until its full execution. Anything executory is started and not yet finished, or is in the process of being completed in order to take full effect at a future time.

Once an executory task is accomplished or an executory requirement satisfied, the task/requirement is considered executed. In the same vein, the opposite of an executory contract (a contract under which there are outstanding obligations) is an executed contract (an agreement according to which all parties have fulfilled their obligations).

Examples of executory terms include, but are not limited to: executory bequest, executory sentence, executory judgment, executory contract, executory trust, and executory devise. In each instance, as with all executory terms, some condition must be satisfied, or some act yet performed in order for the legal action to be executed.

Related terms:

  • Commerce
  • Contract
  • Executor
  • Executory interest
  • Instrument
  • Property
  • ‘Trusts, inheritance & estates’
  • Wills

[Last updated in December of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team