A TRUSTEE IS APPOINTED IN A TRUST.
- A trustee performs an oversight role for the assets in your trust.
- If the trust is a living trust, then the trustee’s role may be quite similar to an executor, except a living trust is not subject to the oversight of a probate court. In this case the trustee may be empowered, for example, to liquidate the trust’s assets and to distribute the proceeds to the beneficiaries.
- A trustee is accountable to the beneficiaries, not to a probate court.
AN EXECUTOR IS APPOINTED IN A WILL.
- The executor will shepherd the will through probate, which is managed by a court process.
- A judge will oversee the probate process and will ensure the Will is carried out per its terms.
- The executor is required to pay estate taxes (if applicable), pay creditors and distribute to the beneficiaries listed in the Will.
- The probate court may request specific reports and statements from the executor; the executor needs to produce these in a timely, accurate fashion.
- The executor is accountable to the probate court.
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