Any Will that is drafted needs both executors and trustees. These days, and while there may be more than one of them, the executor and trustee is usually the same person in a Will. However, this has not always been the case, and both roles remain complementary and different.
The executor role is usually related to the coordinating of the deceased’s wishes and financial arrangements for and with the deceased’s family.
The executor will, for example:
On the other hand, the trustee role links to the trusts created under the Will in question, which are called testamentary trusts. The trustee is responsible for controlling and administering these trusts.
For example, if a capital asset or a monetary 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 their 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, it is common for the same person 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 would like to discuss putting in place a Will, please contact our friendly team to set up an appointment.