What is the difference between an Executor and Trustee?

Generally speaking, Executors are the people who organize your affairs after your death, and Trustees are people who run the trust that your will creates.

An Executor is the person responsible for administering the Estate and carrying out the terms of the will. Their common duties are:

  • assessing the assets and liabilities of the estate
  • maintaining the property/asset
  • making any funeral arrangements
  • making inheritance tax return or paying any inheritance tax that is due
  • apply for a grant of probate
  • distribute the estate according to the will

If you don't have a will, someone still has to be responsible for dealing with your affairs after your death. This person is referred to as an Administrator.

A Trustee is the person responsible for looking after the assets in the Trust for the benefit of the beneficiaries named in the will. A Trust is a legal structure that can be included within a will to protect certain assets and/or the beneficiaries of those assets. The Trustee has a duty to act fairly and impartially towards the beneficiaries and in accordance with the terms of the Trust.

Can I appoint the same person as my Executor and Trustee?

Yes, the same person can be appointed as Executor and Trustee as long as they are clear on the duties and responsibilities of both roles.

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