What Is an Executor?

An executor, also called an executor of estate or executor of will, manages your estate after death. It is often a temporary and relatively short-term position, but can be time-intensive. It is referred to as “personal representative” in some states.

What Does the Executor of a Will Do?

An executor of a will has authority from the probate court to manage the affairs of a deceased person’s estate. In other words, an executor is the fiduciary in charge of your probate estate. The executor’s role includes determining what property you owned, taking control of your assets, paying off your final debts, and protecting your remaining assets until they are properly distributed to your beneficiaries in accordance with your Will.  Read through our guide to learn more about an executor’s role in a person’s estate plan.

What Is the Difference Between an Executor and a Trustee? 

A trustee has a fiduciary duty to administer a trust, while an executor has a fiduciary duty to oversee a probate estate. This means that a trustee is responsible for administering a trust for the benefit of the beneficiaries according to the trust agreement, while an executor is responsible for distributing a deceased person’s assets according to that person’s Will.  Typically, a trustee may act for a long period of time (depending on the trust document) whereas an executor’s job is a relatively short term job that ends after a decedent’s estate has been fully distributed to the beneficiaries named in the decedent’s Will.



Wealthspire Advisors is a registered investment adviser and subsidiary company of NFP Corp.
This information should not be construed as a recommendation, offer to sell, or solicitation of an offer to buy a particular security or investment strategy. The commentary provided is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon for accounting, legal, or tax advice. While the information is deemed reliable, Wealthspire Advisors cannot guarantee its accuracy, completeness, or suitability for any purpose, and makes no warranties with regard to the results to be obtained from its use. ©2021 Wealthspire Advisors

Related Posts

tax cheat sheet

2023 Federal & State Estate and Gift Tax Cheat Sheet

Here we have provided a “cheat sheet” to keep in mind for 2023 federal estate, gift and GST exemptions, as ...

A Guide to Qualified Personal Residence Trusts (QPRTs)

What is a Qualified Personal Residence Trust? A Qualified Personal Residence Trust (“QPRT”) is an irrevocable trust that holds either ...

price earnings ratio

Price/Earnings Ratio (P/E Ratio)

P/E Ratio Meaning The Price/Earnings Ratio (P/E Ratio) is a ratio used by investors to help evaluate how cheap or ...