Executors and trustees of a Will

All Wills need executors and trustees. These days, while there may be more than one of them, the executor and trustee is usually the same person in a Will. This has not always been the case and the roles remain complementary and different.

The executor role is usually related to the coordinating and finance arrangements for and with the deceased’s family: whether he or she was to be buried or cremated, reviewing the Will content and progressing to carry out the deceased’s wishes, probating the Will if necessary, and selling or managing Estate assets as appropriate.

The trustee role links to the trusts created under the Will in question. These trusts are called testamentary trusts. The trustee controls and administers these trusts. For example, if a capital asset or amount is left to a beneficiary in a Will who is a minor at the date of death of the deceased, and the minor beneficiary is unable to unconditionally receive his or her benefit until attaining a certain age, such as 25 years old, then a testamentary trust is created from the Will with the appointed trustee administering that amount, until the minor attains 25 years.

As mentioned, the same person tends to handle both roles with the support of the Estate lawyers, accountants and financial advisers. However, with the skill sets being different, when undertaking the appointment of executor and/or trustee the person should ensure the role is carried out in close liaison with their legal advisors”.

If you’re looking for support to carry out your role as an executor or trustee of a loved one’s Will, get in touch with our Estate Administration Team – a member of the team will be happy to help.