Executor and Trustee

As an Executor and Trustee, What Do You Need to Know?

An Executor and Trustee and an Administrator are all what are generally known as fiduciaries. Fiduciaries have many duties and responsibilities. These obligations are set forth in statutes and by the courts which have developed standards of conduct to be followed by fiduciaries.  An New York City estate planning lawyer can explain them in greater detail.

Executors and Trustees and Administrators are all generally accountable and responsible to the court and to the persons who are the beneficiaries for the assets which they administer.   Such responsibilities involve duties of care so that assets are protected, obligations that prohibit self-dealing and a duty to account for the assets they collect and payments they make.

As a New York City lawyer, I have represented many fiduciaries such as an Executor and Trustee and Administrator. I have worked closely with them to assist them in fulfilling their responsibilities and providing for beneficiaries.

Sometimes there is confusion as to the difference between an Executor and Trustee.  When a person executes a Last Will, he typically nominates an Executor and substitute or successor Executors.  The job of the Executor is to follow and carry out the terms of the Will.  Once the Will is admitted to probate, it becomes validated by the Court.  Say for example, that the Will says that the decedent's house is to be sold and that the proceeds from the sale are to be divided into three shares, the Will further states that two of the shares are to be given to two named estate beneficiaries,  However, the third share is to be given to a Trustee to be held in trust pursuant to the trust terms that are set forth in the Will.  This is called a testamentary trust.  The Will typically names the Trustee. Once the executor pays the proceeds to the Trustee, the executor's job is finished and the Trustee takes over and administers the trust assets according to the Will provisions.  It is possible, and often occurs, that the person named as Executor also acts as the Trustee.

Executors and Trustees serve an important role in Estate Planning.  They are essential in implementing and fulfilling the intent of the creator regarding the disposition of assets.  They can also have a vital role in safeguarding the economic welfare of minor children and beneficiaries who suffer from disabilities.  It is common that a New York Estate Plan will include a Supplemental Needs Trust to benefit someone who is receiving governmental benefits such as Medicaid or social security disability.  An attorney may be helpful in this process, and I have worked with many clients regarding these matters.

I graduated in the top 10% of my class at New England School of Law in Boston and  served on the prestigious “Law Review.” I have been an attorney at law in my own law practice in New York City since 1985.  I enjoy working hard for each of my clients to meet their needs. I am dedicated to working through the nuances of case detail, uncovering something that didn't initially seem obvious, and coming to grips with things that can't be controlled in order to resolve their case. I represent clients throughout New York.

If you have any questions just call (212) 355-2575 and someone will assist you or e-mail for an appointment with a New York City lawyer.