© 2020 Albertson & Davidson, LLP. If you are trying to determine if a Will or a Living Trust is the best Estate Planning tool for your situation, or if you have recently found out that you have been named Trustee or Executor/Personal Representative and you are unsure of what to do next, an experienced Estate Planning Attorney can help you. This means that the role of executor and successor trustee can be held by the same or different people. Like an executor, a trustee is also considered a fiduciary. Their responsibilities include, handling problems with creditors, fighting objections from omitted heirs, managing the transfer of your property, and making sure that each of your devisees or beneficiaries receive their inheritance. • Though there are similar duties and functions of executors and trustees, an executor has to be appointed by the probate court; trustees need not deal with the probate court. The role of a Trustee is very different to the role of the Executor, and Trustees will only be needed if a Trust arises under the Will. The difference between an executor and trustee has to do with the disposition of the decedent’s estate. And the Trustee does not have the right to change the Trust terms in most cases. Find out if you can name the same person to be both your trustee and executor … Trustees are responsible for administering a trust to the beneficiaries according to a legal agreement, whereas Executors distribute a deceased person’s assets according to a will. The executor is also responsible for defending the will, inventory the assets of the estate, and managing the assets of the estate such as selling real estate and paying liabilities and expenses. The executor (sometimes referred to as executrix for females) is responsible for managing the affairs of and settling the estate, including initiating court procedures and filing the deceased's final tax returns. Just give us a call at, “The Ultimate Guide to Wills & Trusts – Estate Planning for Michigan Families”. But whether they should be the same individual can depend on several … An Executor/Personal Representative is named in a Last Will and Testament, often times referred to as a Will. Trustee’s Duties If you are named the Trustee of your loved one’s living Trust, your responsibilities vary from those of the Executor. If you find yourself in either situation, this article will help answer the following: Both Trustees and Executors/Personal Representatives are individuals who are selected by another person to be in charge of managing that person’s estate after they have passed away. Speak to an estate planning attorney today Legal guidance can be of great assistance when you are administering an estate or a trust, especially if you … An executor of a will remains in place for the duration of the probate process. They both manage assets that belong to other beneficiaries, they both are subject to fiduciary duties and obligations, and they both will be paid for their work (assuming they do not breach their duties). If you are confused about the differences between a Trustee vs Executor, you’re not alone. Use of this website and the information contained does not establish an attorney client relationship. This means that the role of executor and successor trustee can be held by the same or different people. This is the person you want to settle your estate and make sure that your wishes are executed appropriately. One of the major differences between Trustee vs Executor is how they are appointed. Inside Out: What Happens When Property is Left Outside of a Trust? The main difference is that the trustee is the person responsible for making the decisions that maintain the estate whilst it is held on trust before it is given to the beneficiaries, and the executor is the person that carries out (or Not all Wills will create trusts, but Complex Family Dynamics. If you have recently been appointed Trustee and need help with the Trust Administration to properly settle an estate, you can always reach out to an experienced Trust Lawyer to help. An executor and trustee both act as managers, but the trustee’s duties and responsibilities often last as long there is a still a trust, which can be for several years. Keep in mind that the Trustee is not the same thing as the Trust beneficiary. Download Denied: Isn’t the Trustee Required to Give me Financial Information? The professional trustee is generally a trust company, lawyer or any other professional who provides executor and/or trustee services as a … The joint trustee/executor then manages all of your assets, works with your beneficiaries (it's common for there to be overlap with your trust beneficiaries and your will beneficiaries), and wraps up all of your financial affairs. "Personal representative," "executor" and "trustee" are some of the titles you'll encounter. • Executor gets a statutory fee, … The Trustees are the people responsible for looking after the … Overall, responsibilities of a Trustee are very similar to those of an Executor/Personal Representative, but there is one big difference…. The executor is the person (typically with the assistance of legal counsel) who files the probate action with the court. To understand the responsibilities of a Trustee, let’s briefly explain how a Living Trust works. Trustees can take over management of the Trust without court intervention. The testator designates a trustee to administer the trust and the executor distributes any remaining assets to the trustee after the will has been probated. Letters Testamentary is a form document signed by the court clerk that officially appoints the Executor and gives the Executor the power to act over a person’s assets. Contact Panitz & Kossoff, LLP, today. An “estate” refers to all of the money, property, and assets the individual who passed away owned at the time of their death. If you are named the Trustee of your loved one’s living Trust, your responsibilities vary from those of the Executor. What is a … An executor is the person who handles a deceased person's estate, making sure all property is distributed according to the decedent's wishes and that all debts are paid. When the executor’s duties to the trust end, then the trustee’s duties begin. Once acting, the Trustee also assumes all of the duties and responsibilities outlined in both the California probate code and the Trust document. Legal guidance can be of great … If there is no will a court can appoint someone an Estate Trustee without a Will to be the personal representative of the estate. The role of a trustee is different than the role of an estate executor. If you have any questions, Chris would be happy to answer them for you – just call at 248-613-0007. Usually, the person who creates the Trust (the settlor) is also the Trustee to start with. However, unlike a Trustee, an Executor cannot begin acting until they first obtain a court order. When someone dies with a Will, the named Executor must submit the Will to the Probate Court along with a petition asking the court to open “probate.” Probate is just a court process where the management and distribution of a person’s assets are overseen by the court. Understanding The Important Role Of The Executor Or Trustee When creating a will or trust, one of the most important decisions you will make is to appoint an executor or trustee. This is one of the major advantages of a Living Trust. Executor vs. Identify the Heirs. Eventually, the Trustee must also distribute the Trust assets as provided in the Trust document. When you set up a Living Trust, you legally transfer your property into the Trust and manage it yourself while you are alive – just as you do now. The fees can either be charged as a percentage of assets or as a percentage of transactions associated with money moving in or out of the trust. A Trustee is a fiduciary over a Trust, and an Executor is a fiduciary over a probate estate. Instead, the Trustee must manage the Trust assets according to the Trust documents. When handling the affairs of a loved one who has passed away, the executor’s role is vs. a trustee’s role is very … The Executor handles the probate process from start to finish. Most estate documents such as a will or a trust will list the heirs to the estate and … By the way, when a person dies without a Will their probate estate can still be opened, but the person appointed to manage the estate is called an Administrator rather than an Executor. As a result, the process Executors and Trustees have to go through to settle an estate is slightly different. If you have questions and you’d like to set up a free initial consultation, we’d be happy to help. A Trustee is appointed in a Trust document, such as a Living Trust, to manage the estate of the person who passed away. Getting Letters of Authority and navigating the Probate process can be complex. Once the court grants the petition for probate, the court will issue an order and Letters Testamentary. An executor of a Will carries out the wishes of a person after they die. Your executor’s duties begin only after you have died. The Rochester Law Center, PLLC is a private law firm. A Trustee is a fiduciary over a Trust, and an Executor is a fiduciary over a probate estate. The successor Trustee generally has the same duties and responsibility of a Trustee. But, someone needs to manage the Trust after you die so that your assets in the Trust can be distributed to your heirs according to your wishes. Knowing the differences between an executor vs. a trustee in California can help you a lot! Knowing the differences between an executor vs. a trustee in California can help you a lot! Trustee –What’s the Difference? A family member or friend can act as trustee or executor, but work alongside a corporate trustee who will guide on issues like tax, real estate and the assist with financial decisions. An executor is the personal representative appointed by the deceased in his/her Will. Executor vs. ESTATE PLANNING ATTORNEYS: CALL GATEVILLE LAW FIRM TODAY AT 630-780-1034 Sean Robertson and Gateville Law Firm are experienced attorneys that assist families and business owners with their Trust and estate planning decisions. Parents with minor children face unique issues when creating wills, this article discusses the choices that parents of minor children must make when creating a last will and testament. And second, trustee fees are considered taxable income for the trustee. It is not affiliated with any government, agency, or other regulatory body. This is one of the major, If you have recently been appointed Trustee and need help with the Trust Administration to properly settle an estate, you can always reach out to an experienced, If you have questions and you’d like to set up a free initial consultation, we’d be happy to help. This means that while the executor/trustee should be compassionate, he or she Over that past decade, Chris has helped 1,000s of Michigan families and businesses secure their futures in all matters of Wills, Trusts, and Estate Planning. Professional trustees also have to pay self-employment tax on the fees they receive. When you are administering an estate or trust, certain terms do not mean the same thing. We are here for you. It helps to understand the roles This is known as “settling an estate”. Identify the Creditors. If you find yourself in the role of Personal Representative and you need help navigating Probate, it’s usually best to consult with an experienced, If one of your goals is to avoid putting your family through the difficulties of Probate Court, you should consider a, Trustees do not need to go through Probate in order to settle the estate because Living Trusts avoid Probate Court. An executor, whether … Who’s the Boss? But whether they should be the same individual can depend on several factors. If you’re creating a trust, it helps to know what is and isn’t deductible when managing taxes in your estate plan. Some beneficiaries come to us because their trustee claims they are harassing them and it really depends on what they beneficiary is doing. If you do choose a Living Trust, you will need to appoint a Trustee to manage and settle your estate when you die. Trustees do not need to go through Probate in order to settle the estate because Living Trusts avoid Probate Court. A fiduciary is someone who is put in charge of someone else’s money. Trust executor duties include liquidating estates. Successor Trustee- After Your Death Upon your death, your Attorney-in-Fact’s power ceases and your Executor’s power, assuming he or she is appointed by the Probate Court, commences. The guardian must also work with the executor and trustee to ensure that any estate assets are properly managed and distributed to the children. While every will creates a unique circumstance, most wills complete the probate process within two to three years. Our legal operations continue. … The Trustee does not receive the Trust assets (unless the Trustee is also named as a beneficiary). The second major difference is that a Trustee does not need to go through Probate to settle an estate because Living Trusts avoid Probate Court. An executor and a trustee are similar in that they both have a duty of absolute care to the beneficiaries of the estate/trust, but their roles in respect of the beneficiaries are quite different. Additionally, the job description for each role is slightly different, even though both deal with managing your affairs when you can’t. As nouns the difference between fiduciary and executor is that fiduciary is (legal) one who holds a thing in trust for another; a trustee while executor is a person who carries out some task.As an adjective fiduciary is The executor (sometimes referred to as executrix for females) is responsible for managing the affairs of and settling the estate, including initiating court procedures and filing the deceased's final tax returns. So, what is the difference between a trustee & an executor? A Last Will and Testament is a legal document that gives instructions to the court on how your assets should be distributed when you pass away. State laws can also specify how successor trustees … However, where a Will establishes a trust or trusts … When you pass away, your Successor Trustee takes over as Trustee and manages and distributes your assets according to the strict directions you’ve outlined in the Trust document. Your executor and successor trustee can usually be the same person, and it's actually a quite common arrangement. A Trustee and Executor/Personal Representative have similar roles and responsibilities when it comes to settling an estate. He has taught dozens of seminars across the State of Michigan on such topics as avoiding the death tax, protecting minor children after the parents’ death, and preserving family wealth from the courts and accidental disinheritance. The trustee, who may be an individual or even several people, is tasked with determining how money and other assets flow in and out of the trust. If we use these terms interchangeably in this article, don’t be confused, we are referring to the same role. The second major difference between Executor vs Trustee is the process they have to go through to settle an estate. In your Last Will and Testament, you name an Executor/Personal Representative. What is the Difference Between a Guardian, Trustee, and Executor? … Executor: Who Do You Need For Estate Planning? Personal representatives, executors, and trustees are all fiduciaries – a term that means they're entrusted to … Nothing on this website should be interpreted as legal advice. One key difference is that the Trustee is appointed in a Living Trust and an Executor/Personal Representative is named in a Last Will and Testament. Site by Consultwebs.com: Law Firm Website Designers and Lawyer Marketing. Chris Atallah is a licensed Michigan Attorney and the author of “The Ultimate Guide to Wills & Trusts – Estate Planning for Michigan Families”. An executor may take on the role of trustee if there is a trust established by the Will When an executor has completed all of their duties, their role ends. Trustees are named in Trust documents to act when the original Trustee(s) dies or stops acting. An executor is entitled to receive payment from the estate for their services. Trustee’s Duties. When handling the affairs of a loved one who has passed away, the executor’s role is vs. a trustee’s role is very different. Or, you may be an individual who has just found out that they were named the Trustee or Executor (also known as a Personal Representative) of an estate and you are trying to find out what this all means and what you are supposed to do next. To get a better understanding of the differences, let’s take a deeper look at how a Last Will and Testament works and the role of an Executor/Personal Representative. A trustee … The Difference Between an Executor & a Trustee of an Estate. However, their roles are different. "It's the best of both worlds, because you have an expert handling the complicated elements of a trust or will, while the loved one co-serves alongside the professional fiduciary. Speak to an estate planning attorney today. Have you been appointed as an executor? Estate Executor Duties An executor, sometimes called a personal representative, is the person who is named in a will, appointed by the court, and responsible for performing under the terms of the will and handling the estate. As executor or trustee a person has a legal duty to manage the property in the decedent’s estate for the benefit of the trust or estate beneficiaries. Once the settlor dies or stops acting, the named successor Trustee takes over. The following are six examples of instances that could lead to California estate litigation with an executor vs. However, where a Will establishes a trust or trusts within it, the person nominated as executor will often have to take on the role as trustee … Executors are people named in a Will to manage the probate estate after a decedent dies. 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