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Executor vs. Trustee Explained

I am often asked to explain the difference between the executor and the trustee. To most people, the two words mean the same thing. However, the roles of either are distinctly different. The similarity that leads to the confusion, however, is that an executor and the trustee are both “fiduciaries.” Fiduciary is commonly defined as a person or an entity that owes a duty of loyalty and good faith to another person. A fiduciary occupies a position of trust and is bound both legally and ethically to act in the best interest of another. In this regard, the confusion is understandable because either an executor or a trustee is called upon to perform a task on the behalf of someone for the benefit of another.

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