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What is an executor and trustee and what do they do?

An executor of a Will carries out the wishes of a person after they die. The role of the executor is to manage the estate within the terms of the Will and protect the assets of the estate. A trustee looks after ongoing bequests to family and friends for a specific time stated in a Will – for example a trust for your children or grandchildren. The executor and trustee must comply with various laws and rules that govern the administration of deceased estates and trusts.

There are many steps involved in being an executor. Some of the duties of an executor include:

Many people when nominated as an executor are unsure of what is expected of them. Being someone’s executor can be complicated and a lot of work, often requiring an understanding of complex legal, financial and taxation matters. The person you appoint as executor is not legally obliged to accept the appointment. They may not be willing or able to undertake the duties, responsibilities and liabilities the role entails and may decide to appoint another person or trustee organisation to act in their place. It is important to talk to your proposed executor to see if they are willing to be appointed.