Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Trust Protectors / Trust Advisors

Yesterday/s Advisor's Forum presentation discussed Trust Protectors and how their use in a trust can help the trust accomplish its goals.  The concept of a Trust Protector is to grant someone who is not a trustee or beneficiary certain powers over the trust.  These powers often include:

  • The power to remove and appoint trustees
  • The power to make modifications to the trust in light of changes in law, particularly tax law
  • The power to correct errors in the drafting
  • The power to settle disputes between cotrustees
Additional common powers are rather technical.  I am in favor of utilizing Trust Protectors as a way to create flexibility in the trust and help keep the trust, its trustee and its beneficiaries out of the court system to savve costs.

Since Trust Protectors are not defined in North Carolina law, their powers are all determined under the language of the trust instrument.  I typically use the designation "Trust Advisor" as I find it sounds more palatable than Trust Protector.

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