Oklahoma’s Oldest
Law Firm

Should your trust have a trust protector?

On Behalf of | Feb 23, 2024 | Trust Administration |

Trusts are a popular choice when it comes to managing individual estates. They offer flexibility and privacy and can be tailored to your needs.

If you create a trust, you’ll want to name someone who is dependable as a trustee. And, you may want to consider adding a trust protector for added safeguards and peace of mind.

The role of a trust protector

A trust protector is a neutral third party appointed to oversee a trustee and ensure the proper management of that trust per the grantor’s directions. The duties of a trust protector can vary and are typically defined by the trust’s agreement; they usually include the ability to replace trustees, amend trust terms or veto certain decisions made by the trustee.

While not everyone may need a trust protector, there are some excellent reasons to consider it, including the following:

  • Life circumstances change, and a trust protector can adapt the trust to meet changing laws or family situations not anticipated when the trust was created.
  • Having a trust protector adds an extra layer of oversight. If the trustee is not managing trust assets correctly, the trust protector can step in, providing peace of mind to you and your beneficiaries.
  • Your trust is designed to last many years, or you created a generation-skipping trust.
  • Your trust contains complex provisions or assets.

Except for Oklahoma Statute 60-175.84 regarding special needs trusts, the law doesn’t specifically address the role of trust protectors. However, it does provide flexibility in drafting of a trust agreement, which allows you to include a provision appointing a trust protector and defining their duties and powers.

When choosing a trust protector, it is important to select someone who is impartial and has the legal and financial knowledge to carry out their duties. Seeking legal guidance for more information is always an option.