The Value of Appointing a Trust Protector

What is a Trust Protector?

A trust protector is a person or entity appointed to oversee and protect the interests of a trust and its beneficiaries. The trust protector’s duties and powers are generally set forth in the trust instrument, and can vary depending on the specific terms of the trust.  The trust protector may serve in a fiduciary or non-fiduciary capacity.  A trust protector may be named in a revocable living trust or an irrevocable trust.

What does a Trust Protector Do?

A trust’s terms may establish that a trust protector is responsible for monitoring the actions of the trustee and ensuring that the trust is being administered in accordance with the wishes and intent of the grantor and the best interests of the beneficiaries. The trust protector may also have the power to remove and replace the trustee if they are not fulfilling their duties or if there is a conflict of interest.

In addition to overseeing the trustee, a trust protector may also have other powers and duties, such as modifying the administrative terms of the trust to reflect changes in circumstances, resolving disputes among the beneficiaries, and making decisions related to investments or distributions.

What are the benefits of appointing a Trust Protector?

The role of a trust protector can provide an added layer of protection and administrative flexibility for a trust, and can be especially useful in situations where the trust is expected to last for a long time or where the beneficiaries are unable or unwilling to oversee the trustee’s actions. It is important to carefully consider the selection of a trust protector and to ensure that their powers and duties are clearly defined in the trust document.

Who should I consider naming as a Trust Protector?

A trust protector may be any individual or entity named by the grantor of the trust.  Our Firm’s clients routinely name family members, colleagues, and professional advisors as trust protectors.

Charlotte-based attorney Christian Perrin is a North Carolina Bar Board Certified Specialist in Estate Planning and Probate Law.  Based in Charlotte, Christian and his team serve clients throughout North Carolina and South Carolina. 

Disclaimer: This information is intended to stimulate thought and discussion and to provide readers with useful ideas in the area of estate planning.  However, this information does not constitute and should not be treated as legal advice or tax advice regarding the use of any particular estate planning technique, device or suggestion.  Our law firm does not assume any responsibility for any individual’s reliance on the information presented.  Each reader should verify independently all statements made before applying them to a particular fact pattern and should determine independently the legal and tax and other consequences of using any particular device, technique or suggestion.