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By: Scott Grossman on June 26th, 2016

Executer vs. Trustee: Who Does What During a CA Estate Administration?

In many cases, even when someone dies leaving behind a trust, he or she will also have a will that appoints an executor to administer the probate estate. The need for these two roles may seem confusing since, at first glance, the responsibilities seem to be the same. However, when a person passes away leaving behind a trust, their property is administered in two parts. The first part involves the trust and the trust assets. The second part involves the will and the California probate court. Below is a breakdown of some responsibilities that come with estate administration and to which they belong too, either a trustee vs. executor.

Tasks of a Trustee:

  • The trustee is in charge of any assets titled in the name of the trust before the loved one’s death.
  • If assets are not titled within the trust, they could be transferred into the trust during the probate administration process. Your San Diego estate administration lawyer can help determine whether the decedents will transfer their assets into the trust.

Tasks of an Executor:

  • Executors typically oversee the assets that were not titled in the trust and any assets not moved into the trust through the will.
  • When the guardianship of minor children is involved, it is handled through the will and is overseen by the executor.
  • If the probate estate has sufficient funds, the executor will pay certain expenses that come with real estate administration. Any other expenses may be paid by the trustee using trust assets. However, everything depends on the trust’s instrument terms.
  • Also, notices must be provided to interested parties separately by both the executor and the trustee.
  • An executor usually deals with probate court filings, unless the trust’s terms or other matters call for probate court oversight.

To learn more about the responsibilities involved with an estate administration, view our article, Administering an Estate in California: 10 Important Tasks. Contact an experienced San Diego probate court attorney today for further guidance. Call the Grossman Law Firm at (888) 443-6590.