Trustee will not give me the name of the Trust Protector and the purpose of this role. I was told “it doesn’t matter.” Is this something I need to know as a beneficiary?
ATTORNEY ANSWER BY MARGARET L. CROSS-BELIVEAU:
A Trust Protector is a person who oversees the trustee’s administration of the trust. A Trust Protector may or may not be appointed when the trust is executed. An appointment of a Trust Protector could be triggered by some sort of event in the future, such as breaking a stalemate between co-trustees. A Trust Protector could have the authority to remove and replace a trustee or reform a trust.
Usually, it is assumed that the beneficiaries of the trust will enforce the trust in respect to their share.
The duties of the Trust Protector should be spelled out in the trust instrument. You should read the trust in order to gain an understanding of a trustee’s duties and a trust protector’s duties. You may also wish to consult an attorney who can translate legalese for you.
Legal Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on since each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. A lawyer experienced in the subject area and licensed to practice in the jurisdiction should be consulted for legal advice. Circular 230 Disclaimer: Any information in this answer may not be used to eliminate or reduce penalties by the IRS or any other governmental agency.
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