Some people think an estate executor and a trustee are interchangeable roles, but they have different responsibilities. Each plays an important part in estate planning, but they are not the same. In many cases, they can be the same person, but each position has separate duties. Essentially, an executor carries out the instructions in the will while a trustee oversees the trust. Today, our estate planning attorney in Cary NC will talk about executors.
Differences in Executors and Trustees | Estate Planning Attorney in Cary NC
When a will is written, the executor is the person named to settle the estate. He or she is given the task of carrying out the wishes of the deceased. This can include some or all of the following:
- Collecting assets
- Appraising the value of the estate
- Paying any owed debts
- Filing and paying taxes
- Managing property or businesses
- Selling assets, if applicable
- Closing bank accounts
- Arranging and paying for funeral services
- Distributing the remainder of the estate to the heirs
If an executor is not named in the will, or the deceased does not have a will, the court can appoint someone to oversee these duties. That person is generally called the administrator of the estate, but has many of the same responsibilities, although they can be limited. We talked about administrators in our previous blog post.
In both cases, more than one person can be named. A will can name two or more executors of the estate, and a trust can have more than one person named as a trustee. If that occurs, all parties may need to act together in the best interest of the estate. It is important to name people who are trustworthy and will get along so that there will not be any complications in the distribution of an estate.
To learn more about trustees and how they differ from executors, be sure to visit back with our next post. Our estate planning attorney in Cary NC will talk in detail about them.
Working with an estate planning attorney in Cary NC can help you better understand this situation. Contact us to learn more.
You can work with an estate planning attorney in Cary NC to plan and to have someone appointed to take care of your estate when the time comes. This can ensure that you are protected and that your wishes will be carried out even when you are no longer able to express them. If you're ready to start planning today, contact our estate planning attorney in Cary NC. We are here to help you.