Trust Protector

I am re-reading the excellent book, " The Complete Book of Wills, Estates & Trusts (4th Edition): Advice That Can Save You Thousands of Dollars in Legal Fees and Taxes," by Alexander Bove. I read this book over 20 years ago when I first set up my revocable living trust. It was the best of the several books about trusts that I read.

I bought the new edition because things have changed over 20 years. I am older, as are my husband and siblings. My sister’s children, who were pre-teens when I wrote my trust, are now working professionals with advanced degrees.

I don’t want to re-write my trust since it basically says what I want it to say. I do want to add successor trustees from the younger generation.

The book also talks about a recent development in trust writing, called a “Trust Protector.” The list of powers that can be given to a trust protector is wide reaching, and includes: removing and/or replacing a trustee (the most commonly used power), controlling investment and/or distribution decisions; vetoing the action of a trustee; and many others.

I think that a trust protector could address my major concerns:

  1. Selecting successor trustees, turning my revocable trust into a dynasty trust after my death (which I expect in 5 to 20 years but possibly a little longer).

  2. Protecting me from the potential of being taken over by involuntary conservatorship, either by strangers or relatives. (As described in the book “The Retirement Nightmare” and the TV movie, “I Care A Lot.” I Care a Lot - Wikipedia

Has anyone here added a trust protector to your trust? Other thoughts?



I just ordered the book! I’ve been putting off creating a trust due to constant changes in law, and waiting for all the minor children to become adults, but it’s nearly time to do it.

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It’s even more important for you to read this book right away since providing for minor children is far more important than protecting heirs.

It’s arriving tomorrow. But in a couple of months, there will remain no more minors in this house.

Can’t answer your question, but thanks for the book recommendation! Just ordered the Kindle edition as my wife and I need to get serious about creating our estate plan. I’m currently in the beginning stages of acting as Executor of my mother’s estate, so I’m seeing firsthand how helpful this will be to my survivors when I go.

Congratulations on successfully raising all your kids to adulthood! That’s really something to be proud of.

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When my mother was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2000 I began to seriously study estate planning. Fortunately, Mom was cooperative. We consolidated her scattered accounts into a Revocable Living Trust. We also titled her homes in Brooklyn, NY and Florida into the Trust. Only a few items fell outside the trust.

As co-Executor with my older brother Jeff (OrmontUS), we found that everything inside the trust was easy to settle. Everything outside the trust, which went through probate, was a nightmare by comparison.