Houston Estate Planning Law Blog

SHOULD YOU RETAIN A TRUST PROTECTOR?

When estate planning in Texas, it is important to leave your most trusted advisors in charge of administering your estate. It can never hurt to have more than one set of eyes on something. For this reason, some people are beginning to turn to trust protectors. Protectors are people who work together with the designated trustee to ensure that settlor’s intent is being fulfilled.

Trust protectors turned up on the estate planning scene when wealthy families wanted to establish trusts in foreign countries but felt that additional safety measures to protect their wealth were needed. These families hired trust protectors, who oversaw the administration of their trusts. Now, these protectors are used in the same way, but could have additional responsibilities. For example, they could remove or add trustees, move assts for protection purposes or withhold wealth from beneficiaries if necessary.

It may cost more money to hire a trust protector, but having a second person oversee things may be worth the cost. Normally, estate planning costs are anywhere from 1.5 to 2.5 percent of the estate’s gross value. A trust protector would add approximately .25 to .75 percent to the overall costs of the estate’s administration.

Even so, this cost may be worth it because it can ensure that the trust is handled professionally and efficiently. Trust protectors in Florida can act as a fail-safe for people, ensuring that others are not abusing their authority when it comes to estate administration. Adding a trust protector may help foster a harmonious atmosphere after the estate is divided, which for many families is worth its weight in gold.

Source: MontereyHerald.com, “Trust protectors,” Liza Horvath, July 9, 2012

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