What is a Trust Protector?
Ever heard of a trust protector? They’ve long been popular in overseas trusts, and
they’re gaining popularity here. When establishing a long-term trust, some people
have concerns about the effect that changes in the law or other future
circumstances might have on the way the trust operates. A trust protector is a
person appointed to monitor such a trust, and to make sure that unforeseen
changes in the future don’t have a negative effect on the way the trust functions.
In addition to choosing the trust protector, the person establishing a trust can
define the trust protector’s duties and powers. Common powers of a trust
Removing or appointing trustees
Resolving disagreements between the trustee and the beneficiaries of the
Amending the trust (for example, due to changes in the law)
Adding or removing beneficiaries
Approving or vetoing a trustee’s investment decisions
Anyone can serve as a trust protector, although the ideal choice is probably a
neutral third party – someone who is neither related to the trustee nor to any of
If you are interested in appointing a trust protector to monitor your trust, you’ll
want to consult with a qualified estate planning attorney. An experienced
attorney can help you ensure that the trust protector’s duties are clearly
enumerated within the trust document, so that your wishes are carried out.
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