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FPC #8: Trustees & Trust Protectors




One of the most important (if not THE most important) considerations in estate planning is: how to select trustees.

Compounding this concern is the new need for trust protectors (no, they are not the same) — how do you select them? can, or should, you select them?

  • How many trustees should you have?
  • Should your kid be a trustee? other family members?
  • How will you handle indemnification if they blow it? Should trustees be compensated and obtain their own insurance, even if related?
  • How should trustees be removed?
  • What qualifications make for a good successor trustee? how are these affected by other factors like type of assets, family situation?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a corporate trustee?
  • Should you give others the power to name successor trustees?
  • What the heck is a trust protector and what can they do? what should they do, for different situations and planning goals?
  • How does a trust protector benefit an estate, and how does it differ from a trustee?
  • Should you name a committee as trust protector?
  • Because California will likely treat trust protectors as fiduciaries sharing joint and several liability with trustees, and trustees may balk at serving under those circumstances, should you avoid naming a trust protector now, and simply set up a procedure for naming one later when situs can be changed?
  • Should a trust protector have trustee-like powers?
  • Should a trust protector be held to a fiduciary standard for all powers? only for some?
  • How might certain trust protector powers create conflict with trustees and beneficiaries?
  • Could certain trust protector powers actually thwart, rather than preserve, settlors’ intent?
  • How should succession of trust protectors be handled?
  • How are trust protectors to be compensated? indemnified? should another party confirm fees?
  • Should a trust protector be individual or corporate?
  • What are the qualifications for a trust protector generally? from a tax standpoint (i.e., preventing estate inclusion)? asset protection?

This is one of the focus topics we present on a revolving basis at our weekly “guntrust Challenge” competitions — part shooting match, part quiz show.

So come visit our Family Protection Clinic and gain expertise on estate planning and self-defense!

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