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Executor Vs. Trustee: What’s The Difference?

On Behalf of | Dec 29, 2022 | Estate Planning, Probate & Guardianships

There are many similar benefits to using wills and trusts. Although the roles of executors and trustees are similar, there are a few differences that affect how the plans are carried out. Understanding the main differences is how people select the right type of estate plan in Texas.


An executor works with a will while a trustee works with a trust. A will is a written plan that states the desired outcome of a person’s belongings. The executor may have control of the assets after the person dies. A will states the beneficiaries who will receive the person’s money, property or belongings but only after his or her death.


An executor accepts, manages and administers the estate of a person after death. Similarly, a trustee manages and administers a trust for the beneficiaries but is not required to wait until after the trustor’s death. In addition, an executor often works directly with the probate court, but a trustee is not required to appear in court and seek legal representation.


While a trustee can have access to the assets as soon as the trust is created, a trust is designed to promote financial responsibility as part of estate planning. This agreement states how and when the beneficiaries can spend the funds.

Estate planning starts by selecting a will or trust and continues with understanding an executor’s or trustee’s duties. An executor works with the terms of a will and administers an estate after the testator’s death. A trustee manages the terms of a trust after a person dies or after the beneficiary reaches a certain age.