What is the difference between an executor and a trustee?

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Updated: 4/13/2007 3:35 pm
An executor is a person appointed by the probate court to administer the estate of a decedent. A trustee is a person who enters into an agreement to hold – and sometimes manage – assets for beneficiaries of a trust. Today, many people create what are frequently called 'living trusts' or 'inter vivos (in-ter VEE-vose) trusts' to hold their assets while they are living and to avoid the administration of their assets through the probate process after they die. Trustees owe fiduciary duties to the beneficiaries of the trust just as executors and administrators owe fiduciary duties to the beneficiaries and creditors of estates. If you believe that an executor, administrator, trustee, or other fiduciary has deprived you of assets, contact an attorney.

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