What Are the Responsibilities of a Living Trust Executor?

By Darryl James
signing a contract image by William Berry from Fotolia.com

A living trust executor is also referred to as a trustee and an administrator, named as a part of the living trust. When the trustor (former owner of the trust property) signs the trust agreement establishing separate ownership of a life insurance policy, he charges the executor with carrying out the goals of the trust.

Follow the Trust

The executor of a living trust must follow the goals of the trust without deviation, which generally outline the benefits and the method of distributing assets. This also includes the term of the trust and selecting alternate beneficiaries if necessary.

Distribution of Funds

Perhaps the biggest portion of the executor’s duties is the distribution of funds from the insurance policy in the trust. The executor follows the trust, which names the beneficiaries and also spells out the manner in which the funds are to be distributed.

Taxes and Fees

The executor of a living trust must record and pay any taxes associated with the trust. If the trust dictates, the executor must assist the beneficiary with tax issues and pay any fees associated with the trust, including the executor’s own expenses.

About the Author

Darryl James, a syndicated columnist and freelance writer in the Los Angeles area has written for more than 15 years for "New York Newsday," "Pittsburgh Courier," "The Los Angeles Sentinel," "Women's Wear Daily," "Apparel News," "Rap Sheet" and more. James has written books and has just finished his first screenplay.