Irrevocable trusts can be a great way to preserve your assets while avoiding probate and estate tax. However, when unforeseen circumstances or legal changes affect how the trust is administered, you may consider appointing a trust protector.
A third party who can advise the trustees is a trust protector. They can help with investment decisions, modify trust distributions, and more.
Keep Your Family Out of Probate Court
Keeping your family out of probate court can ease the burden on grieving family members and may save them money in legal fees. During the legal procedure known as probate, a person’s assets are divided among the people listed in their will, debts, and taxes are paid, and any unresolved claims against the estate are settled.
Trusts are an excellent way to keep your family’s assets from going into probate. They are also a popular way to distribute assets and avoid tax issues.
However, several potential pitfalls to trusts could affect the trust’s beneficiaries. For example, a trustee may be incompetent or have personal grudges against one of the heirs or beneficiaries.
A trust protector can help prevent these problems by ensuring the trustee follows the terms of the trust and makes changes to the trust when necessary. It can include amending the trust to consider a change in law or public benefits system, changing the distributions of assets, etc.
A trust protector can fire the misbehaving trustee and name a replacement if necessary. Ideally, the trust protector should be an outside party with training, experience in trust and tax law, and tact in navigating family dynamics.
Change Distributions Easily
A trust protector can be helpful if you have complicated or unusual estate plans, a trust protector can be beneficial. This individual could be a relative, friend, fiduciary, or estate planning lawyer.
A trustworthy trust protector like CunninghamLegal will provide suggestions to assist you in making plans for your beneficiaries. They can alter beneficiary designations, rewrite trust agreements, and suggest distributions, among other things. In addition, they might offer some interesting tax planning ideas that you would have needed to consider on your own.
They are also a great source of information, providing insight into your assets and their worth. You can trust that they will be up to date on the latest news and trends, allowing you to make informed decisions about your legacy.
In short, a trust protector is the most helpful tool in your kit. This savvy advisor will be able to save you time and money in the long run by helping you manage your estate more efficiently.
It would be best if you spoke with an experienced attorney to ensure you make the right decision regarding your estate plan. They can also give you some good advice on how to avoid common pitfalls. They can also advise you to a reputable and experienced trust planner.
Fire the Misbehaving Trustee
Having a trust protector can make it much easier to fire a misbehaving trustee. However, you need to know how to go about it and whether the trustee is violating the terms of the trust or taking illegal actions.
Obtaining a copy of the trust should be one of your priorities. If you notice any acts that do not match the terms of the trust, this may indicate that the successor trustee is not acting in good faith or is going against the terms of the trust in more egregious ways.
Another thing to look out for is whether the successor trustee borrows from the trust assets, makes large purchases, or spends more than usual. These activities can be a sign that they are stealing from the trust.
If the trust beneficiaries feel that the successor trustee is doing any of these things, they can file a lawsuit against them to remove them from their position. In most cases, the beneficiaries will bear the burden of proof and costs in these lawsuits.
There are other grounds for removing a trustee, executor, or agent if the terms of the applicable document provide that they should be removed from their positions. Examples of reasons for removal include legal disqualification, breach of fiduciary duty, or failure to perform in a manner that is in the beneficiary’s best interests.
Keep Your Assets Safe
Trustees are tasked with managing trust following the instructions of its creator, known as a settlor or grantor (these terms are interchangeable). Trustees must follow a fiduciary duty and act in the best interests of the trust beneficiaries.
Despite this, sometimes trustees may take actions that are out of character or out of their interest. They could give money to people not named in the trust, draw out the trust for increased fees, or even make off with the assets themselves.
It is where a trust protector step in. They can monitor the activities of a trustee, and if they believe the trustee is acting up, they can remove that person and appoint another one.
When naming someone as a trust protector, choosing somebody entirely independent and with no vested interests in the trust is essential. It means a lawyer, accountant, or even a third-party company that offers trust protector services.
The protector’s broad powers include removing the existing trustee, appointing a successor trustee, changing investment and distribution decisions, and much more. When adding a protector to your trust, it is crucial to seek seasoned professional advice