What is the Role of a Trust Protector

elder law trusts nj

A trust can fulfill many useful estate planning goals, from providing for your family and planning for your golden years to protecting your hard-earned assets from taxation. One of the roles that you might consider adding to your trust is a trust protector. Here’s some insight into this position, from an estate planning attorney in New Jersey.

  • What is a Trust Protector?

A trust protector is a person you appoint to watch over your trust in the long-term, specifically to ensure that the trust or the goals of the trust aren’t compromised or negatively affected by changes to laws or the circumstances surrounding the trust. They are usually an independent third party who specializes in this field, for instance, your estate planning attorney.

  • What Do They Do?

The role of the trust protector is usually to oversee irrevocable living trusts, which are trusts where the grantor cannot simply make changes to the terms of the trust, as they are permanent. Of course, no one can see into the future and, if something should happen that affects the ability of the trust to fulfil its goal, the trust protector – and only the trust protector – can step in and take action.

This is a very important role in the event of something like a crash in the stock market. If investments are falling alarmingly, it can be viewed as an emergency situation. Beneficiaries and grantors can’t access these assets directly to protect them, but the trust protector can.

The extent to which a trust protector can act depends on the powers that the grantor of the trust bestows on them, so it differs from trust to trust and depends a lot on what you, the grantor, permits. Some trust protectors can remove and replace existing trustees, settle disputes between trustees and/or beneficiaries, alter trust provisions, approve or veto investment decisions, or approve or veto discretionary distributions. Essentially, they are there to provide objective and expert oversight. 

In addition, this role can be expanded to provide assistance to grantors and beneficiaries, as you can empower them to modify your trust according to your wishes as grantor without having to formally amend the trust documentation, they can modify the trust after your death to keep it in line with your original goals (for instance, adding a new grandchild as a beneficiary), and maintaining the legal protection and tax benefits that caused you to create the trust in the first place.

Advice on Trusts, Wills, Power of Attorney and More from Your Estate Planning Attorney in NJ

At Sedita, Campisano and Campisano in New Jersey, estate planning attorney Frank Campisano is ready to assist you with all your estate planning needs, whether you need to make a business succession plan, Last Will and Testament, Power of Attorney, Medical Directive, a Living trust or to minimize inheritance tax on your estate.

Contact us today and let us deliver expert estate planning advice to take care of all your wishes – whether your estate is big or small. For more information, please visit our website at https://www.scclegal.com/

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